“Christianity is nothing but a failed behavior change program! Why would I ever want to be a Christian? It’s all do’s and don’t, and people are just the same as before they went to church,” says the critic!
Is that an accurate criticism? I understand where this disillusioned person is coming from, but let’s look at another big idea from the New Testament and see yet another viewpoint.
New Testament Christianity is a move away from religion, and into the radical idea of the human spirit in communion with God’s spirit. Christianity is about the free flow of blood covenant love through the spirit too and from God and to other people. Christianity is about the Holy Spirit working to create a new mind and heart inside the believer, and we call it the new nature.
As God nature grows, it produces the fruit. We find the basic list of fruit in Galatians 5:22. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness and faith. Many have observed that love is the basic fruit, and all others are spin-offs or expressions of love. New Testament Christianity is so different from basic religion. Following Jesus is a new direction from religion.
The complaints against religion cover common areas listed below:
-is hypersensitive to right and wrong,
-always has something for us to do, to perform,
-loves recipes, keys, secrets, steps, rituals, programs, manuals,
-often contains exaggerated promises,
-has to do with appeasing God,
-living up to certain behaviors,
-puts God in a box and states God only does things this way,
-dislikes the simplicity of Christ,
-uncomfortable with the free expression of God’s grace,
-questions the free flow of God’s love,
-hates the fact God is championing the New Covenant himself,
Christianity is the death of the old sinful nature, with the Holy Spirit creating the mind and the heart of Jesus the Christ inside us - a new nature that replaces the sinful nature. The fruit of the new nature is many virtues including behavior change.
Behavior change is a fruit of Christianity, not the point of Christianity. Communion with God forever is the point of God’s plan. The believer that truly surrenders to this process of the Spirit becomes a new creation, a human being that contains Jesus own spirit, and a new nature! Now that is a big idea!
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about the big ideas found in the New Testament. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.