Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Self-centered Christianity vs Christ-centered Christianity

I've wanted to write on this topic for a while, but my resolve was strenghtend when I read the whole book of Galatians this morning. Please do read it when and if you have the time. Christianity IS about Christ, so in that regards, PLEASE let's put the spotlight back on him. Most Christians' bible have the verse Matthew 5:16 just say "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works" Clearly if you're conversant with this verse, there is something missing! Go and check it. That IS in my opinion the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THAT VERSE. It's missing :(

At the first mention of the word Christian, almost (if not totally) everyone is likely to say/or think, "Oh, it's those self-righteous people", "the people who think they're better than everybody else", or any variation of these.

What is my point? The view of Christians, or Christianity has changed a whole lot. I think personally the reason for this is that the Self-righteous view people have of Christians have made people to appropriate us to hypocrites, which in turn means we are not taken as seriously as we would want people to. To most people, this is not a problem, or at least they don't consider it a problem (we are good people anyways, and following God, so it doesn't matter what THEY think)...but I do think that's where the problem lies. I find this to be a problem because when I read my bible, I see that it is this same problem that Christ himself combated in the Gospels. This time, not with Christians, but with the Pharisees. Now, the Pharisees are not necessarily bad people (as is often believed). In fact they are good people with crooked motives and intentions. Their motives are just way out of line in relation to what God wants/demands. Most of the time, they do make sense...but it's the manner of their application of the law that is irritating. Paul had a few (if not a whole lot )combats he had to make as well.

So, what does a self-righteous Christian look like? Again, using what I said about the Pharisee above, these people are not necessarily bad people! Their motives and intentions are just out of line.

S/he would say things like these:
"You're going to Hell, poor you! I'm going to Heaven, and I'm happy for that. Praise God"
"Well, I'm a good person because I'm a Christian. Anyone who is not like me (the Atheist, the Jew, the Muslim, the Agnostic, the Mormon, the Buddhist), well is a bad person"
"I'm sure because I'm a Christian, God loves me better than he loves you"

The point is, there is TOOOO much focus on "I" in these statements. There is usually a forgetfulness that one does not begin to call himself a Christian, without the first six letters of that word - CHRIST! Where is the focus on that?

I find it interesting that something broke down the definition of a Christian thus. ChristIAN = Without Christ, I Am Nothing.

That is a Christ- centered Christian! His focus and attention is solely on what Christ did! That's it, nothing else! His whole life is transformed by that single truth! He lives his life based solely on that! There is no "I". There is no "I" versus "THEM" sort of mentality as I evidenced in my last post (PART 2 still coming). It is "I" and "Christ". I can only exist and do what I do, because of ChrIst. So, like Paul, I can gladly say whether I live or die, it is so that Christ might be exalted. (Philippians 1:20, 21).

In that light, a Christ-centered Christian would say things like these that are opposite of what the Self-centered Christian would say:

"You are going to hell, and I'm going to Heaven? Time for me to CRY"
"We ARE actually both bad. Actually I'm much worse (the Atheist, the Mormon, the Buddhist, etc might stand a better chance than I do), but why Christ considers me to be good, I can NEVER understand"
"God's love is for ALL. However, few respond to it. It doesn't mean I'm better because I did"

What Christ-centered Christianity eliminates is Pride, and Self-reliance or Self-dependency. Everything we are, is because of Christ, not because of anything we did.

You still proud?, still think you're better than EVERYBODY else?, these words of Jonathan Edward should make you humble, and if it doesn't? Then I'm sorry for the response you'll hear when you meet God. Here: "You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary." ~ Jonathan Edwards.


Myne Whitman said...

Interesting discussion, I agree with most of your points.

aeWHYoh: Fellow Writer said...

Thanks for reading Myne :) I'm glad you agree.