Reasons Not To Be a Christian Pt. 1

in the book of James it talks about the instability of a double-minded person, and how God is a generous God who gives much wisdom and who gives things without finding fault. Yet, these gifts are for those who are not double-minded.

I am scared by the numbers of people who play the “Hell and Brimstone” cards. I am frightened by the numbers of people who use God as an “escape from hell” salvation project. I grieve for those who loathe this life but hold onto the hope that the next one will be better. The tragedy of these types of people is that they have fallen for the double-minded trap of life. They don’t want God, they want heaven. They don’t want to put in their work here on earth, but they want to enjoy the gifts of the afterlife. This is the pain of those who play the numbers game. The people who work day in and day out trying to “save souls” and get them into heaven. Maybe, they’ll get into heaven. But, have they gotten heaven into them?

When we analyze what we imagine for the future, it actually perpetrates itself into our lives now. So, if the goal is to escape this earth, to stop sinning as much as possible so God will let me in, to be a “good person”, then we have missed the point. For when we do this, all we are producing are overly cautious people, who are not willing to establish God’s Kingdom here on earth. They can’t enjoy God’s creation here on earth. They view this life as a dismal wasteland, something that was meant to be avoided. But, if we are a people who believe that Kingdom of God is present, like Jesus said, then these are the type of people who actually find heaven now. They are able to imagine God’s presence here on earth. These types of people manifest the beauty of God, the hope of God, and the incarnation of God to this world. As always, N.T Wright always says it better than me, “What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.” These types of acts reveal God right now. They don’t inspire a shame and fear-based message of the Kingdom.

To be double-minded is keeping us away from the wisdom and the heart of God. For those out there who just want heaven, they won’t find God. They may get themselves into it. They may even enjoy it. But, they sure missed the point in this life, and they won’t see their work when God reclaims his throne here on earth.  To find God, is to will just one thing: God.

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6 thoughts on “Reasons Not To Be a Christian Pt. 1

  1. chris says:

    reminds me of that lyric in the U2 and Johnny Cash song,
    “they say they want the Kingdom, but they don’t want God in it”
    very good post.

  2. Mike,
    Than you!!!!
    The idea that this world is just a holding cell until we are taken up to Heaven seems to me to have the same ideas under-girding it as the Gnositc heresy, that the flesh is corrupt and irredeemable. Yet that is what is taught in many churches today.

  3. great post. such a huge problem in the church – I suspect partly because we tried to sell Christianity rather than sell ourselves (in the good way). We tried to figure out how to sell the faith and get the most responses to an alter call – which is of course the fire and brimstone (at least that worked 150 years ago). Now people, rightly so, ask what have you done for me lately.

  4. Leya says:

    Random… but have you listen to the new O.A.R. song “Heaven” It makes me think of the damage we’ve done, as Christians, when we go down the road of confusing heaven as God.

  5. robjfoley says:

    Nice post. Can you give a reference for the N.T. Wright quote you used here?

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