Why Christianity doesn't work (Part 4)

I know it has been awhile since I last posted however, in my defense I am getting married soon and that owns my life currently!

Anyways to the task at hand.

In this discussion I want to bring to light the idea of guilt and emotionalism within the church.

This isn't a new idea, I grew up Roman Catholic, I know what guilt is, let me tell you. However, one of the main things that drew me to become "evangelical" so to speak was the idea of having a relationship with a God that loved me and cared for me, not one that was constantly looking over my shoulder waiting to kick my a** when I did something wrong.

That being said, we protestants, evangelicals, new reformed, whatever you call yourself, love guilt, we just package it another way.

My understanding is that there are two different ideas in this regard, there is guilt which makes you feel horrible about when you have done something wrong, or haven't met the mark in some regard, and their is "conviction" which is church’s word to make you feel bad about something you have done!

Paul writes:
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 5-6)

Paul sums up Christianity in this passage in my opinion. This is the idea of our relationship with God. We are saved by grace, we live in grace, we will mess up, it’s the reality. However the law allowed for sin to abound all the more, but with idea of sin, grace, and Jesus we have a hope and a prayer to have an interesting, good, pleasing relationship with God.

Elsewhere Paul writes:
"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Cor 6)

We are not bound by anything but God's laws. As a believer and follower of Christ my motivation should be to please Jesus only, no one else. My relationship is based on my closeness to my savior!

So why then do I tithe, lift my hands in worship, read my bible, pray? If I am honest, if you're honest it is because I feel guilty if I don't. Guilt is not something that God makes us feel. It's others.

I mentioned “conviction” is the word the church uses, well, because it biblical. However the church isn’t the one who is supposed to convict, it is the Holy Spirit. Conviction brings about change to make you better, guilt brings about an urge to make yourself feel better.

If I am honest as stated above, guilt is my motivation for doing many of the things I do in church. If I don’t tithe I feel bad because I’m supposed to give 10% to be a good Christian and receive God’s “blessing.” If I don’t raise my hands in worship ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it I feel bad because I need to “worship” God at all times even when I don’t want to.

From my infancy to now in my relationship with God I do things because others say I should not because I want to.

However my motivation for all things should be to please the one who gave me life! The one who will change me and shape into a better human. I should give because I want to please God not because someone tricks me to, I want to worship God because I want to know him more, not because I’m trying to show others I can lift my hands…

I want a deeper relationship for the sake of knowing what it means to have Jesus as my King…to sit in his temple and be at his feet…

As a church leader I never want to show pictures of starving kids to raise funds to a cause, or to tell people that they are not good followers of Christ if they don’t worship at a certain time or place, or certain way and find scripture to fit that thought so I can shape what Church should look like. I want to preach a saving relationship with God, a brand new life through Christ, and an empowered life through the Holy Spirit, and let them do their thing in that person’s life and cause them to change as they seek a deeper relationship with our God.

I want to Preach Jesus and let his words and love make people who God created them to be…and support and encourage them along the way as they try, fail, succeed, fall, and get up, cry, laugh and be a messed up human seeking a perfect God.

Next blog Part 4 con’t (Emotionalism)