The Way

The Way
My Journey Into the Community God Intended

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Take on the Origins of Athiest and Agnostics

I think that most of those who profess to be atheist or agnostic have somewhere down the line been hurt, offended or injured by someone "claiming" to be a Christian.  Instead of seeing the fault in the person they attribute the fault of the person to Christ.   "If that is what this 'Jesus' is all about then I want nothing to do with Him or His religion" - can you blame them?   So many 'church members' experience this same thing - being hurt by those who call themselves Christians - even those in leadership positions within the institution.   All over the world you have men standing in pulpits every week telling their congregations that they must live their lives in a manner that even they, themselves are unable to do - how can we 'love those who persecute us', 'bless those who curse us', do good to those who do us harm'?   In our flesh, we cannot.   It is our nature to repel or even destroy those who do such things to us, our family or even our country.   The ONLY human being ever able to do this was Christ.   No one before and no one since.   Why then is it rammed down our throats that we must be "Christ-like", when in our flesh we have proven over the past 6 thousand years that we are unable to do so?   Can we, over the course of a lifetime, be successful in imitating the creator of the universe, proving ourselves to be "good enough"?   Seems to me all we will prove is what miserable failures we are in accomplishing this task. 

I have read and re-read the entire New Testament and no where have I found any command or instruction to try and 'be like Christ'.   Can we become omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent?  Paul said told us to be "imitators of God" and to walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us" (Ephesians 5).   Jesus gave the church one commandment to replace all of the others, including the two "greatest" commandments (Love the Lord and Love your neighbor as yourself) because He knew that, in our flesh, we would not be able to comply with even just these two, much less the whole of the Law and the Prophets.   He said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34) 

So, how can we do this?   How did Jesus do it?   How did He love 12 obstinate, stubborn, unbelieving men who fought between themselves, thought themselves to be more worthy than their friends to receive a place of honor in the Kingdom and left Him high and dry when things got tough?   He loved them with the indwelling love of His Father that looked past their faults into eternity.   It makes perfect sense then, that the only way we can obey this one command is by the indwelling love of Christ that does the same thing - looks past their sin and baggage and see the Christ in them from eternity to eternity. 

How can we do this?   By dying to self (crucifying MY wants, desires and agendas) and allowing the Christ IN me to love them through me.   Once I understood that I did not have that kind of love in my flesh I was able to not feel guilty for not being able to love the un-loveable.   I have learned to not judge others on their failure to keep the 10 commandments, because I know now that is not my responsibility.   Only GOD is able to judge and I certainly am NOT qualified to do His job. 

All that to say this: If everyone that call themselves "Christian" were to follow this one commandment - to love others as Christ loved us - what would the world see in His church?   They certainly would not see a bunch of hypocrites living selfish, judgmental lives telling all the "lost" people they if they don't get their lives in order that they will spend eternity in hell.   They will instead see Christ loving them through His body (the church) and be drawn to Him as a bride to her bridegroom. 

Who was it that Jesus warned about the dangers of hell?   Was it the drunks, tax collectors and prostitutes?   No.  (He hung out with them!)   It was the 'religious' people of the day - the 'church members', if you will.   All those that thought they were better than everybody else because they 'followed the rules'. (Luke 18:9-14).   If you are out there trying to be 'Christ-like', know that you are spinning your wheels trying to do something God does not require or expect you to do.   All He wants is for you to get out of His way so that He can do what only He can do in and through you.


  1. I was talking with a brother the other day and we began discussing one of the question that you address here.

    "Can we, at any point, join in on God's work in us?" In other words, can we "Be like Jesus" in any way whatsoever.

    We came away understanding that THE ONLY WAY to do that is our voluntary taking up of the cross. Only in losing our lives voluntarily can we join in on God's plan and work. Everything else ends up in legalism or despair or both.

    This is a great post brother! Thank you!

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for this very articulate post.

    You have touched upon several key points that highlight the failure of the "church" to reach the world. The basis of these points (seem to me) to juice down to one main point:

    We actually think that we can do it!

    This is the basis of all man-made religion. You know, the tower of Babel and all of that. When in reality, we can of ourselves do absolutely nothing!

    Thank you for aptly pointing out that only Christ in us can do the work and the first work is transforming us into His image so that we are a corporate expression of Him.

    thanks again bro!


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