As much as I enjoy writing these posts, I also like to take the time to observe what my other fellow bloggers who write on Christianity are writing about. When I observe the posts that pop up in the Christianity tag, it’s always interesting to me how much I see just about the same things. The common theme of topics seems to reflect Christianity as one’s personal journey of triumph that God is preparing and changing that person for. Whether it’s a new job, a spouse, or whatever, that’s what the Christian journey all seems to boil down to for some. God being the deliverer of personal fulfillment of one’s earthly desires in life. When I read these types of posts, I always find it really odd, because it sounds nothing like what I read in the Scripture.
Granted, I do stumble upon a good number of posts that actually seem to closely draw from the Scripture, and present a thoughtfully accurate understanding of Christian topics based on careful reading of the text. However, it seems to be somewhat of the minority. As I say time and time again, in my writing and subsequently in my life, I’m always seeking after an authentic religious experience. So I’d like to present to you an alternative understanding of Christianity that’s possibly more Scriptural. The theory I will present to you, is that Christianity isn’t a religion of personal triumph, but triumph of the will of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When you observe the instructions given in all the letters Paul writes to the different churches, all of these instructions are practical and fulfilling the needs of the body of Christ for the sake of glorifying God. The letters to the Corinthians for example were about a myriad of problems such as sexual immorality, disorderliness during the gathering of worship, and many other things that had nothing to necessarily do with one’s personal triumph, in as much as it had to do with the successful operation and presentation of the body of Christ. In most of the letters he wrote, you find that Paul is addressing needs and reminding his readers what the true focus and purpose of Christianity was. Today so many people translate Christianity as a religion of God wanting man to triumph in his personal endeavors as long as He obeys, but that’s completely overlooking the point of being a Christian. The point of the instructions given and the journey of Christianity were always the fulfilling of God’s will and the salvation of all men through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I make this assertion because all you have to do is just read how much Paul talks about that being the purpose.
I want you to think about these questions the next time you read one of Paul’s letters. How much is Apostle Paul, the guy who wrote most of the New Testament and is one of the ultimate authorities of what Christianity is about, talking about Christianity to these people in the context of trusting for their personal desires to be fulfilled, like a new job, a spouse, or whatever? Then after you’ve thought that, ask yourself, how much is Paul talking about practical living for the successful operation and presentation of the body of Christ, through exhibiting Godly character qualities, performing good works that benefit the surrounding needs of the people, and all of it being for the purpose of the glory of God and salvation of men through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and only very sparsely, secondarily for some personal earthly good of mankind? When you consider these things, I think it’ll make you ponder the message that today’s culture of Christianity is spreading to the masses, and consider what message God is really wanting to spread in His Word.
I want to leave you with these closing verses as a reflection of what I’ve been discussing in this post today. This is Peter convincing the Jews he was speaking to to become the first converts of Christianity, and what the focus was in the activities they did after the conversion. Pay particularly close attention to verse 40-42, and 44-47.
Acts 2:40-47 “40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”