I Don’t Want to Be a Good Person; I’m a Christian

I Don’t Want to Be a Good Person; I’m a Christian

Do most people want to be good people?  I think most non-Christians would affirm this desire, as well as religious people, and people who follow Christ.  Should it be a goal of humanity to be good?  Does incredibly good behavior cause God to debar the gates to the Garden of Eden or cause God to smile on the people He has redeemed?   I would say no; I think Satan is pleased to so easily deceive man into wanting to be good people, so that they do not focus on how they can become righteous people.

If this idea is true, people may feel this reality is abrasive and that God is unfair to reject man’s attempts at goodness; but since God designed the universe and said (New Testament) 1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God, then man’s opinions do not effect God’s reality, no matter how much we don’t like the sound of it.

What does the Bible, God’s Word, say about man’s goodness in general?  Since the Garden of Eden when evil entered the world, we learn that no person is good. Old Testament, Psalm 14:3b There is no one who does good not even one.  OT, Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. In the New Testament, in Romans 7:18, Paul says, For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

What does God say about the goodness of religious people (not sincere God followers and Christ followers, but sincerely religious people)?  NT, Romans 10:2, 3.  For I bear them (Israel) witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  In Matthew 23:27 Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”  So good acts based on religious conviction are not necessarily acceptable to God, so says Jesus.

And of the forgiven sinner to whom Christ has imparted His righteousness, are all of his good acts pleasing to God?  1 Cor 13:3 says, And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.  Apparently they are not.  God, through Paul, says to the brethren (1 Cor 3:1), to Christians, 1 Corinthians 3: 13 Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.  So, not all of a Christian’s good behavior will be rewarded.

So, why wouldn’t man’s attempt to be good, the attempt by non-Christian, a religious person, and a Christian, be considered good by God?  Isn’t being good – a good thing?

Well, it appears God gets a little more serious about man’s behavior. OT, 1 Samuel 16:7b For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. NT, Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God…able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. NT, Romans 2:16b God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

In my next blog I will sift through scripture to see what goodness is acceptable to God, whether from a non-Christian, a religious person, or a sincere follower of Jesus.

Is the Christian Church Outdated?

Is the Christian Church Outdated?

For me, answering this question doesn’t require that I put myself in a non-believers’ shoes to honestly critique the church.  I have no reservation saying yes; in most cases the church is outdated.  With sadness I share my response as to how some churches in recent generations have been stewards of their priceless gift, stewards of their little corner of overseeing the Kingdom.  From the outdated buildings, to the half empty pews, this is not a reflection of the powerful and living Word of God, but a contradiction.

God, being the Alpha and Omega, cannot become old or outdated in any respect as He created everything that can be, whether in the year 1800 or 2050. (New Testament, John 1:3)  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In addition, (NT, Hebrews 4:12a) For the word of God is living and active.  So, if the church has become stale or the pews (or rather the folding chairs) empty, it is not that God is irrelevant or out of date.  According to His Word, this simply cannot be true.  Therefore it can only be the keepers of His Kingdom on earth to which the burden falls.

So, let’s look at the church.  Scripture tells us that just because there is a church building with people gathered, or for that matter a group of people who hold a church service in any particular place, it does not guarantee that God is present with them.  Although when a person has the Holy Spirit – a new life inside of them – then God resides with that person, in that place (NT, Acts 7:48, 51).  So I ask, what does a person look like with whom God dwells, and therefore what does a group of people with whom God dwells look like?

Jesus said in (NT) John 14: 23, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him and we will come to him, and make Our abode with him.  What do those who are obedient to Him, the people in whom God is abiding, what do they look like?  Jesus said He came that people might have life, and have it abundantly (NT, John 10:10b).  Paul said he wanted believers to be filled up to all the fullness of God (NT, Ephesians 3:19b).   Christ redeemed people (NT, Ephesians 1:7) back from what was lost in the Garden of Eden, as He intended for people to have eternal life (NT, John 3:16), fullness of joy and pleasures forever (Old Testament, Psalm16:11b).

If people of the church are obedient to Him, then the people will be living an abundant life, filled with the fullness of God, full of joy and experiencing pleasures.  That sounds a lot like the people who were a part of the thriving church in Acts.

I suggest that the church today has become outdated because slowly, throughout recent generations, people have become less obedient to God’s Word; this disobedience manifesting in various ways.  Due to the lack of obedience, we observe less of God’s vibrant life among professing believers and among the professing church.   Sadly, due to believers not loving God, nor obeying God, the professing church has largely become outdated, because the God who gives eternal life, abundant life, fullness, joy and pleasures can never go out of style.