I have been wondering for a while now why we as Christians spend so much of our time trying to make our faith sound more like other religions?
We target the meditation of Buddhism…
The dedication of the Muslim believer…
The exception of other faith systems… and the list goes on.
But the question needs to be asked… isn’t the things that make Christianity different the thing that can actually change lives?
The Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, Michael S. Horton put’s it like this:
Jesus was not revolutionary because he said we should love God and each other. Moses said that first. So did Buddha, Confucius, and countless other religious leaders we’ve never heard of. Madonna, Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Dali Lama, and probably a lot of Christian leaders will tell us that the point of religion is to get us to love each other.
“God loves you” doesn’t stir the world’s opposition. However, start talking about God’s absolute authority, holiness, … Christ’s substitutionary atonement, justification apart from works, the necessity of new birth, repentance, baptism, Communion, and the future judgment, and the mood in the room changes considerably
You see Horton has seen that the things that make Christianity different are the things that cause us to feel the friction and uneasiness of other and so it’s much easier for us to focus on the things that are similar to other faith’s because it gives us ‘an in’. We don’t want to be seen as offending someone so we ‘act in love’ and stay silent- however in doing so we miss out on telling people about the life changing story that Jesus was sent to fulfill.
People don’t mind you praying… but as soon as you mention the name of Jesus, everything is different… or when you talk about the Resurrection, and you can even see this as far back as the Book of Acts in the Bible… so somethings stay the same.
So why fight it?
We are different… “we are strangers and aliens in this World” 1 Peter 2:11, so instead of trying so hard to be just like everyone else, lets embrace the life changing truth that separates us from other religions.
Other religions strive to be closer to God… We can be closer to God because he wants to be in a relationship with US.
Most of us know John 3:16
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
But the clincher for me is verse 17
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
You see it was never about making you feel guilty… it was about saving YOU, and only a God who truly loves you and is interested in YOU would bother doing that for people like us… who frankly just don’t deserve it.
Accept this FREE gift… the gift of Jesus… it’s different to ANYTHING you will ever find.