This is a continuing post based on the Stephen Mattson’s post over at Red Letter Christians on the misconceptions of Christianity.
5. It Solves All Your Problems
Christianity isn’t a magic cure for sickness, broken relationships, abuse and injustice. It’s not meant to be a quick-fix solution to everything that’s wrong in your life or the lives of others.
Unfortunately, many interpret Christianity as a form of escapism, a way to avoid the harsh realities of life. Christ’s message isn’t about avoiding difficulties or preventing them from happening, but confronting them.
Following Jesus means embracing the hardships of humanity and struggling, empathizing, supporting and helping those who are sick, weak, poor, diseased, abandoned and forsaken. In many ways being a Christian causes more problems than it solves—but the hope and promises of Jesus strengthen us for the journey.
When the disciples decided to follow Jesus, instead of making their lives easier and more comfortable, most were persecuted and eventually killed because of their beliefs. Are we prepared for the commitment and burdens that Christianity requires?
Let’s face it, most of us Christians live a pretty good life. At least compared to the original followers of Jesus who for the most part were killed for their beliefs. We got it easy, all we think we have to do is to go to church on an occasional Sunday and to “believe” the right things. There are more than a few Christian leaders who claim that if you give your life to Jesus then you will prosper beyond even your imagination. They preach the prosperity gospel. Give a little to God and get much more in return. While that basic concept is true in the spiritual sense they say it is about money and wealthy living.
Others treat Christianity as an escape mechanism. It is a way to get away from their present lives and the ensuing realities. They think that be a Christian is about hunkering down with others who believe as you do and to wait out the inequities of life for a better one in the next.
To me, and I’m sure to Stephen, being a Christian means you love God and you love your brothers. Jesus taught us that our brothers are everyone else who was created by God. We are to love that homeless person sleeping in the park just as much as we love our parents or children, He told us that we are to do what we can to create heaven on earth. Doing that, even in the slightest regard, is not easy and is fraught with problems.
- It means taking on those who are persecuting others for political or monetary gain.
- It means seeking justice for the oppressed.
- It means feeding those who are hungry.
- It means treating everyone with respect and love as we want them to treat us.
- It means following the words and commands of Jesus
None of that is easy and no, it doesn’t solve all our problems. In fact if we do it right it will probably add more troubles than we already have. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not easy but it certainly is VERY rewarding…..