Monday, December 7, 2009

You look like someone I know

The standard for Christian experience is not for the faint of heart. The standard is God Himself. “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” I am a long, long way from those in the early Church of whom it was said, “They took note of them because they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13).

The apostles bore a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, their experience and their character were being brought up to God’s standard. I so very much hope that someday the same can be said of me.


Ginx said...

I think this gets to the heart of something: Christianity isn't for everyone. I mean, sure it's open to everyone, but how many "Christians" give any thought to acting the way they presumably believe to be correct? I'm sure a decent Christian would hope for all of them, but I think that's a bit optimistic.

One thing that always puzzles me is the claim that people who leave Christianity for atheism do so because they can't live up to the strict moral standard. Setting aside the differences I have with Biblical morality, I wish this were the case. If only every Christian who left the path would openly profess atheism... if only those who did not live up to the Biblical God's standard would stop pretending.

If this was the lot that atheism drew, to be the catch-all for moral rejects, then atheists would in fact be some of the worst people. However, many are ethically evolved far beyond the dated standards of the Bible. Even worse, the most wretched keep pretending, and they drag down the religious moral curve. You can get away with a lot more if you appear to be a good person, and the disguise of faith is far too appealing for the most evil elements among us to abandon. Not to mention the condition that all can be forgiven; nothing encourages recklessness like the promise of a clean slate.

Makarios said...

Nothing encourages positive change like being loved and accepted as you are.

Ginx said...

Damnit Mak... I can't argue with that. I'm certainly not in favor of kicking people when they're down or giving them no second chances, but I want people to live with shame, guilt, and regret. I think the whole forgiveness thing only works if remorse persists.

I guess I don't know how Christian doctrine affects that. Maybe feeling forgiven emboldens some, maybe it humbles others.

Makarios said...

I like you and all, Ginx, but sometimes I think you're intoxicated when you reply here.