Thinking and Questioning
I want to start a discussion. Mostly to get people thinking and questioning what they believe and why they believe it. Its the main reason I started this blog and I hope to write more in the future with this same goal in mind.
I want to ask the question, "Is the Church forcing its congregants into a facade of trying to be like Christ?" It sounds like a really good idea and something to really strive towards, doesn't it? To be like Christ, or to be Christ to people. What does that mean anyway. We hear it all the time in the Church and in Christian culture, "You need to be like Christ." or "We are being Jesus to them." Most of the time, from what I have seen, is that "being" Jesus to someone in the Church culture means you are being nice to someone or doing something for them in the hopes that you can share your faith with them and in turn they give their life to Christ. This is commonly referred to as "Winning souls for Jesus" and to me has a sort of stomach turning flavor to it. This isn't to say that every Christian has an ulterior motive for being nice to people, but unfortunately there is a large majority that do have motives aside from...well, love. I'm not saying that sharing your faith and hoping to see someone accept Christ is bad, but at the same time where is that motive coming from? Was Jesus like that? Was he just a really nice guy with an ulterior motive to convince a bunch of people to accept him as their savior? I think Christ was fairly straight forward with his motives. The thing about Christ is that he didn't need anyone's permission to forgive and love them and do what He did. He didn't ask your permission to forgive all the sins of the World, He just did it. That doesn't sound like something you can become.
Facade, What Does It Mean?
So back to the question, is the church forcing its congregants into a facade of trying to be like Christ? Lets look at the word facade and what it means.
Facade: a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation.
What Was Christ Teaching?
So in short, putting on the happy face and going through life trying to be something that you are not. So why does the Church and Christian culture push so hard on this issue of being like Christ? Could it be that it is easier to look at Christ's life and not learn what He was actually trying to teach and just try to mimic what He did? I mean, if Christ did it, how could it be wrong for us to try and do the same thing, right? So then lets ask the question, "What did Christ teach?" The answer to that, a lot. He taught about the Kingdom, He taught about love, He taught in parables that a lot of times foretold of the coming of Grace and of the end times, which no one knew what He was talking about at the time. One of the main things He taught a lot on was the Law. He took what people knew of the Law and increased the severity by a million times. What He was trying to get across is that we could not save ourselves and we have all fallen short. This is what I see a lot of the Church focusing on, only in a way that isn't learning what Christ taught but how can we obey the Law and live like Christ. There are definitely things that Christ did and taught that I believe we should all take to heart and follow, like loving each other and loving God. Unfortunately I think those two things get lost in all the law abiding, which in turn makes people feel like a failure and focus primarily on their sin, something that has already been forgiven.
So what is the answer to this question of being like Christ and not living a facade of trying to be like Him? Here is what I think and I would like others to engage in this discussion and give their feedback and ideas as well. I believe that sin is not on God's mind. He dealt with it already and isn't dealing with it again. I believe the renewal of your mind and your true identity is what is on God's mind and what He wants for us all. It's not about being like Christ, its about being who Christ made you to be and Him in you. Those two things will lead to a far greater love that will change the World and bring true love and understanding than if you try to mimic something you were never meant to mimic. Christ lived the perfect life and fulfilled the Law and took all of the World's sin on himself so that you could have the opportunity to become who you were created to be.
Your Turn To Talk
This is where I am right now. I love discussing these things and I believe it is essential to challenge and think through what we all believe, so please continue the discussion below in the comments section and I will make sure to respond.