What makes someone a Christian?
Going to church? Being baptized? Believing a certain something? Not smoking, drinking, or cussing? Listening to worship music and not wearing crop tops?
Now take a look at those typical answer and realize they all have one theme in common:
Christianity is about being a good person.
And in this statement good means more of: “moral”, gentle, goody-two shoes
courageous, generous, or selfless.
But Christianity is NOT about being a good person.
In fact, Christianity is what it is because: all Christians are bad people!
Think this is a bold and mean claim? It’s because we need to take a look at what Christianity actually claims.
Jesus (being fully man and fully God) lived a perfect life →
Died to pay for the imperfection of all humans who believe in Him →
All those believers could move to a perfect paradise, something only perfect people deserve.
So what are Christians? Bad people. They are Imperfect people who have done an incredible amount of bad things. But aren’t we all? The difference is these certain people believe in the sacrifice of Jesus and a coming paradise for themselves.
So I’m free! I can go do as much bad as I want right?
Don’t see this gift of paradise as freedom to go do as much bad as you wish! Just because you don’t pay for gifts doesn’t mean they were free/have no value. It just means someone else paid the price.
When you willingly do bad, it will hurt you in ways that God can’t intercept.
Whatttt? God can’t intercept? Is He weak?
No, God can’t intercept because he respects your voice. And He lets you truly make the decisions you make.
Just imagine. Someone (representing God) pays thousands of dollars to have a seat belt installed in his car. And you choose not to use it. If the car crashes, it’s not that God couldn’t have saved you hurts with His power (because He could’ve, the power of the seatbelt would’ve been enough to save you from hurt), if you chose it. But if you don’t, God will respect that.
God simply offers you a future paradise + growing to live less and less badly/hurtfully starting now (out of a place of abundance and not a place of proving your holiness).
The Right Type of Good
And this is where the stereotype of “good” Christian comes from. It’s all the students learning to be like Him, that are growing to want and do more and more of what is life-giving. The real deal isn’t goody-two shoes stuff or boring rules, it’s daily life-giving growth.
And this also means that as soon as Christians take their focus off Jesus and onto their own learning, onto their own actions, it turns from life-giving practices to rules upon rules. It moves from a privilege into a burden.
So whether you’re a Christian or not, don’t think Christianity is about being a good person. It’s really about Jesus and all that He’s done. About a new paradise that’s a gift. And the privilege of growing starting here and now.