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Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Misconception of Christianity

Perhaps the most frequent misconception I hear when talking to people about my faith is that Christianity is a club for the "good people". I hear it when someone says "Well, I could never be a Christian because there are certain vices I just can't give up". (Incidentally, I don't expect serious change to happen until after someone has committed their life to Jesus. Only He brings lasting life change.) And I hear it in more judgmental tones when someone within Christianity has made very poor, and very public, choices.

The central problem with this misconception is that it puts the defining characteristic of Christianity on our ability to live up to a perceived moral standard. The error here is, I hope, quite obvious. The point of Christianity is dealing with precisely that problem, none of us can live up to the moral standards expected of us. And this is exactly what I point out. My presentation often goes something like this:

"A lot of people think that Christianity is a club for the 'good people', when the opposite is in fact true. Christianity at its core is a group of people who recognize they can never be good enough to meet God's standards of morality. They are relying Jesus to pay for their sins, and they do their best to follow Jesus' teachings out of love for Him. So Christianity really isn't a club for the 'good people', but rather the 'not-good-enough people who know it'."

Notice what I intend to do with this clarification. First, I am attempting to remove that excuse in a person's mind that they can't be a Christian until they've got their life in shape. Second, I am trying to "defang" the red herring accusations centered around Christians who aren't living like they should. As Christians, we know that salvation is by grace through faith alone. But to the average person, Christianity is just like every other religion measuring followers by a moral code. We should take every opportunity to build a category for grace and faith in their minds.

1 comment:

Novan Leon said...

Good words. I encounter this misconception quite often and it's nice to hear someone comment on it.