The True Purpose of Christianity

It’s hard for me to understand why people look at the Scripture through the lens of it being all about the prosperity of man. It’s hard for me to understand why people view Scripture through the lens of it being all about a personal journey of one’s own fulfillment.  I’ve been diving into Scripture of late, then I find myself reading the Christianity blog posts on here, and it’s so strikingly evident that most people who profess to be Christian really don’t seem to know the true purpose of Christianity. As I stated in previous posts, the Christian journey is not God placing you on some personal life journey all about you, your growth as a person, and eventually you getting the desires of your heart.

How I can assert this claim is simple. All you have to do is really carefully look at the Scripture and see the primary focus throughout the development of the church. Look at the beginning of the early church through Acts. What was being stressed? Well first of all, the continual preaching of Christ as Savior. You see that as the primary teaching and focus whenever you read of Peter and Paul’s travels. The Scripture notes Paul arguing frequently, trying so hard to get people to see this as the truth. Then second of all, these people were focused not on themselves, but on God and everyone else through worship, prayer, and giving. After the first converts got saved in Acts 2, what did it say they did? They continued to gather together, continued to praise God, and have the goodwill of all the people. They didn’t necessarily focus on believing for a new job, a new car, a spouse, or just focus on their personal journey of getting their own desires fulfilled. For these people, and for us, this is not a religion of individualism. This is a religion of God’s goodwill to mankind as a whole. You see this theme of group focus throughout Scripture. Man and woman, Israel, the Jews, the disciples, the Apostles, and of most importance the body of Christ.

The beauty and the magnificence of this religion gets tainted by people who want to presume that God is only primarily focused on their individual fulfillment once they become a Christian, when He’s primarily focused on the salvation of all men, and seeing His people exhibit love (which is to say goodwill), to Him and to all people. Am I saying it’s wrong to focus on ourselves? No. Philippians 2:5 illustrates God knowing we will at times. The thing that is wrong is this incredibly heretical new age understanding of the faith being about a fulfillment of one’s personal journey of growth and obtaining one’s desires, when it’s about the fulfillment of the will of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every instruction regarding how we behave and how we treat others, while secondarily providing a little more ease in life and allowing us to have good things we desire, it’s primarily because this is what God desires in our loving Him and loving others as we love ourselves, and thus this is what helps advance the cause of the Gospel.

And you know what else is interesting. When you focus on things being more about God’s desires (love of Him and love of others as we love ourselves), more about the purpose of the advancement of the Gospel of Christ, and less so much about it primarily being some personal journey about you, you might actually be surprised how much peace it brings in life. Consider the contentment Paul often expressed about being fine with food and clothing, or being content with being full or lacking, and how great gain comes with Godliness and contentment. He knew the journey was about fulfilling something bigger than himself, which gave him contentment in being a part of that. People think of when Paul states I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me often in a selfish, whatever I desire to pursue, I can do it with Christ. But if you look at the context and consider PAUL WAS IN JAIL while writing this, it’s a strong statement of continued living for God’s will and the cause of the Gospel despite the circumstances of whether things were going well for Paul, or things were being difficult for Him. He had the strength and the peace of knowing that he could overcome the weakness of being human for Christ. To conclude, I challenge anyone who reads this today, to look at the bigger picture. Really question the perspective of looking at the Scripture through the lens of this prosperity perspective, and really consider what the Apostles and the followers of Christ appeared to illustrate in the teachings and actions exhibited in scripture, as to what the true purpose of Christianity is.

 

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4 thoughts on “The True Purpose of Christianity

  1. Hi again! I responded to your comment on my blog, and I thought I’d pay your blog a visit too. I totally understand that what I or many others may say may seem like a “personal life journey all about me, my growth as a person, and eventually me getting the desires of my heart.” Well, I see a very fine line between our two viewpoints, not a major discrepancy as you may think. But here’s my question…Why do you feel as if advancing the kingdom and living a prosperous life are polar opposites? I think they work hand in hand. Everyone knows that resources are needed in order to advance God’s kingdom, so if He prospers me I understand and know that He isn’t prospering me just for me. Whatever I have belongs to Him anyway and I have been taught to give out of what He’s given me for the advancement of His kingdom. My daily life is a reflection of God’s grace and mercy, and when I have the opportunity I share Him with others. Does everyone have the same calling and office in the body of Christ? Of course not. Scripture tells us that. We do all have the responsibility to share Christ with those we meet and to be an example of godliness before them. I do not have to be poor to do that. And He is my personal savior, so He is very involved in my personal life as well as my growth as a person. I depend on Him for that. So I believe that if I am growing as a person and prospering (prosperity isn’t determined by the amount of money I have in the bank or the car I drive by the way) than I can be an even greater asset to the Kingdom. Thanks for the great, thought-provoking conversation! 🙂 Be blessed!

  2. Hello again. I appreciate that you took the time to visit my profile and read my post. I always enjoy receiving feedback to my posts, so thank you for that too. Well I suppose it depends on what we’re defining as a “prosperous” life. I would say certainly in living for the glory of the God and the advancement of the kingdom, we do have more joy and more peace in any and all circumstances. I don’t see that as in contrast with the Christian journey at all, and I acknowledge in my post when one follows the will of God (loving Him and loving others through the instructions we’re given), we do in a secondary sense also get a little more easiness in our lives at times. Now when you say go hand and hand with resources needed, it seems as if you mean prosperous as an finances, which I know you say later in your comment finances or cars are not what you define as prosperity, but just sticking with what you begin with in your statements, I don’t see a problem with people getting rich as Christians at all. Scripture acknowledges many instructions given to rich people a part of the body of Christ, not one of which appearing to state they should stop being rich. The only problem I have is people thinking God wants them to be rich, which does not appear to be accurate to Scripture, and the verses that people generally use to justify that being true are usually taken out of context. I would say we generally have the resource we need to advance the kingdom with or without money, in that being the Word of God, which is highly accessible in this day and age, and us telling people around us about it. But at times there is a need for finances, which is why the Body of Christ is instructed to give, and I think that’s excellent that you recognize when you do happen to gain financially, it is important for you to give back. It’s excellent as well that you see your life as being a tool for sharing the Gospel. When you say personal savior, I’m guessing you follow the “personal relationship” theology. I also don’t find that to be Scriptural, because Scripture seems to display a slightly different kind of relationship than the one described by the “personal relationship” theology, but that’s another conversation. I don’t see God desiring my behaviors in accordance to the instructions in the Word as for merely Him seeing my own growth and me enjoying that growth. I see it as primarily for the glory of the God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My feeling like a better person on the inside is merely a secondary achievement. Which I think that’s what my overall discretion is with prosperity theology is. The focus on individual personal growth for it’s own sake in fulfilling one’s self, obtaining one’s own desires, are all very secondary it seems according to Scripture, and with prosperity theology, that appears to be made primary, which Scripturally I think appears to be wrong. But I respect that we may disagree on this, and I’m really glad that we can respectfully do so, because I find it unfortunate when those who claim to believe in Jesus don’t believe in treating each other as how Jesus would want them to. So I thank you again that you’ve communicated with me at a level befitting of the Christian conduct. 🙂

  3. Ive been enlightend by both sides of the discussion & am very glad it was carried out with love & respect…(the way it ought to be)

    I think your both correct but looking at the issue from different persectives..

    Y.W.I.A rightly points out that being prosperous /rich doesnt have to be mutually exclusive to being Kingdom Focussed..we all play our roles…(Joseph of Arimathea being case in point)

    F.B.T is also right to call out the perverse teachings on ‘self attainment’ masking as sermons these days…..

    I think Jesus’s parable of sorts in Luke 17:7-10 bests depicts the mindset of a ‘bond servant to christ’…which is..in whatever state/status/position i am, i am 1st an ‘unprofitable servant’ unto myself….my priority been that i am there to serve Christ 1st..& then whatever else is left is by his mercy…

    If we all see ourselves as unprofitable servants 1st..then all that we are and have are not really for us but for the Kingdom…

    More grace to us all

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