Is this really Christianity?
Some of the difficulties we have with Christianity are because of things that get said or written – but they aren’t Christian at all. It’s not surprising really.
Some people talk about things they don’t really know. If they sound authoritative, some will believe them. Or maybe they can get a little doubt started.
Some people are more than willing to put down Christianity. Some of them don’t really understand. Some of them do understand, but they don’t like the message. Either way, warped views of Christianity can come from listening to them. That’s because even thought there’s enough truth to sound “right” – the conclusions are wrong.
Others look at Christianity as a way to take advantage of people. There’s no shortage of people on TV, even in commercials, trying to do that. Some of them make a whole lot of money off it, That alone should call something into question – is this really Christian?
Promises for this life – or the next life?
No matter what some may try to tell us, Jesus never said we’d be rich in this life. In fact, we read of one person for whom money was a particular problem. Here’s what Jesus told him, and what happened to him.
The Rich Young Man
19:16-29 pp — Mk 10:17-30; Lk 18:18-30
Mt 19:16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?”
Mt 19:17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
Mt 19:18 “Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, “ ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’’”
Mt 19:20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Mt 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Mt 19:22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
In this case, what Jesus said was hard. But it was also true, This really is Christian.
Is this really Christian?
In other cases – when we hear things – or read things – it’s always – always – good to verify it. Even for things that I write – I say to do that. It’s the same for the class I teach. I tell them to do the same.
I would hate to say something wrong and lead someone astray. Have them walk away from Jesus because I said something wrong.
But not everyone who claims to speak for Jesus feels the same way. That’s why it’s so important to verify. Look it up. See if Jesus really said that. See if the New Testament really says that.
Yes – the New Testament. The Old Testament has one covenant. The New Testament has the New Covenant. Much of the Old Testament points to the New. Contains things that we need to know. Can build our faith. However – the “prosperity gospel” is very much an Old Testament way of life. Our promise from God today isn’t riches in this life. It’s all about the next life.
Don’t be fooled. Don’t be led away from Jesus. Don’t be tricked into walking away from Jesus.
Ask Questions! Ask – is this really Christian?