We Christians seem to think the world’s problem is a behavioral one. And if the problem is bad behavior, then the solution must be good behavior. And, while we’re sinners too, we know the truth. So, we think we should all get together—there’s a heck of a lot of us, after all—and we can totally make a difference in this dark world.
We can pass legislation,
get people who agree with us elected,
and make sure
society really understands
that God hates
everything about them
that’s not like us.
Give us a few decades and we’ll clean this place up right! The problem with that–aside from the fact that it hasn’t, and never will, work–is that while we agree on a moral truth, we aren’t qualified to implement that truth. So then there’s that thing about the blind leading the blind and both of them ending up in a ditch (Mt 15:14).
Besides, good isn’t the issue.
If morals alone were the problem, the above might have been an excellent idea. But moralism is the opposite of Christianity–car wreck Christianity. It’s just using the ways of the world–self-righteousness, self-salvation, and power, to name a few–to accomplish the ways of the Spirit. And, of course, those two ways are incompatible.
Christianity isn’t primarily about being a better person. I know that might raise all kinds of hackles, but hear me out.
Christianity isn’t good people telling bad people that they should be more like them.
It isn’t even the telling of bad people that they should be more like God.
Christianity is Jesus loving sinners so much that he gave Himself for them so that anyone that wanted, could come home (John 3:16).
We who would never think to seek God on our own are rescued by Him. We are given a gift by a loving Father who adores his wayward children. The gift of Himself dwells within us, and although we still live in a fallen world, in fallen flesh, and are still pulled toward those fallen ways, he shows us a more excellent way (1 Cor 12:31) and guides us toward it. So, even though we do become more like God by way of trusting and following what God’s Spirit is doing within us, Christianity is primarily about a relationship with God, through Jesus, and sharing that relationship.
If we can understand that, maybe we won’t be such jack wagons. Maybe if we see that we’re fellow sinners who have been given forgiveness through faith, not our good works (Eph 2:8-9), we can relax and start being more like Jesus.
There is absolutely nothing—not a thing—that we can be arrogant about as followers of Jesus. When we are arrogant, self-centered and proud in the name of God, we are using His name in vain. We’re just following the path of the world while wearing a t-shirt with a cross on it. Until we see that, we’ll keep doing things the worldly way, because, as we’ve seen, you can’t think of yourself and God at the same time.
The way of Jesus is different.