Who isn't He?
would be wonderful if this page didn't have to exist. If only we didn't
need to take time to tell you who Jesus Christ is not, and what Christianity
is not. It's a distasteful, but unfortunately necessary task if we are going
to be of true service to you in your spiritual quest.
Why? Because countless forces have come together to paint a very unflattering
portrait of Christ. And sadly enough, those who have come to feel Christianity
has nothing to offer them are often to be commended for their astute judgment,
given what they've observed.
As you know, mankind has a distinct tendency to make a mess of the many
treasures we've been given in life. Our historic handling of Christ and
His message is a prime example of this unfortunate shortcoming. If you have
come to hold a dark view of Christianity because of how you've seen it manifested,
we urge you to open your heart and mind and consider the following clarifications
using the links below.
is a bigot
is after your money
doesn't care how you live, so long as you follow Him
just wants you to belong to a church
works primarily through big-name evangelists
will make you rich
is represented in all Christian churches
wants to control you and turn you into
someone you don't want to be
is especially fond of televangelists
hates you and plans to send you to Hell
was born in Judea, but is actually an American
is a haven only for socially maladjusted
and marginally intelligent poor people
recognizes that Christianity is one
of several paths that lead to Him
is just a great moral teacher
He is a bigot
Chances are, if you feel this way, it is because you have seen people
act in a way that led you to assume that since they said they were followers
of Christ, that He must be like them.
Well, that's how it's supposed to be. His followers are expected to be
like Him. For reasons that can't be blamed on Him, however, all too often
it doesn't work out that way. Some people get it into their minds that
God is on their side, and so anyone who isn't like them becomes the subject
of harsh censure. They don't understand that the God they don't even know
isn't just waiting for their command as to who He is to next rain fire
Think about these disturbing people, and then contrast them to others
you have likely met in your life whose faces almost seemed to glow. They
positively exuded kindness and gentleness. Though you may only have been
in their presence for a few moments, you were very struck by them. You
sensed that they possessed a quiet strength and inner beauty like few
people you have ever known. That is what you should experience when you
meet one of His mature followers. Not for a moment would you ever expect
a bigoted word or action from such individuals
Those professing to be His followers will be in varying stages of spiritual
maturity, as would be expected. Others among them will only be Christians
in name only. They have no connection to Him. And thus this latter group
may evidence all kinds of bizarre and hateful behavior, and so become
dreadful advertisements for the cause of Christ. Ignore them. Pity them.
And when you are on the inside, pray for them. But whatever you do, don't
let them convince you that He is someone altogether different from who
He truly is.
He is after your money
After the third time the collection plate came around during your last
visit to a church, you got suspicious. When the speaker at an outdoor
rally stated that he believed God had put it in the hearts of ten people
to give a thousand dollars, you left when the tension became palpable
after the fourth hand finally went up. Then when you saw the evangelist
on TV weeping as he pleaded with you to sign your next paycheck over to
him, you decided it was true.
But it's not. You see, God never intended for His people to be begging
for money. It's embarrassing to Him. Jesus is after more than money. He
is after you. That's what He really wants. And once He owns you, He'll
have your money anyhow, right? No, once you are really His, you will have
entered an entirely different realm, a whole new way of existing. Material
things won't be your gods. Your treasure won't be in this world. You will
find that He gives far more than He demands. He will provide for you in
ways that you never will have thought possible. Will you ever give money
to His work? Of course, but then it will be your work, your life, your
reason for existence, and it won't feel like you gave anything, especially
in consideration of all He will have done for you.
He doesn't care how you live, so long as you follow Him
This is a very popular misconception amongst too many who earnestly want
to believe they are following Jesus. It goes kind of like this: With His
stamp of approval is on your life, you can pretty much do whatever you
want so long as you're occasionally sorry about the really bad things
(although this sorrow isn't absolutely required) because your ticket to
Heaven is irrevocable.
The spiritual forces antagonistic to Christianity love this one. Not only
do you end up with millions of mollified churchgoers whose actions reveal
they have yet to enter into a true relationship with Christ, but it also
helps insure sincere seekers of truth won't be duped into thinking He
is the answer. In other words, if the guy in the cubicle next to you with
the "Jesus is Lord" screensaver smokes, drinks, lies, and puts his wedding
ring in the drawer before he goes to lunch with female sales reps, he
has yet to meet the Deliverer.
Yes, God cares how you live. And He's committed to helping you live a
life free from destructive ways of living that aren't spiritually, emotionally,
mentally, and physically healthy for you, or for those around you who
might follow your example. He has power to set you free and keep you free.
He won't expect you to do it on your own, rather He only asks that you
be completely willing to let Him do it within you. Trust us, it's amazing.
What price can you place on waking up in the morning with no regrets for
the night before? And how would you like to depart this life with your
record completely clear? He's the only one who can make it happen.
He just wants you to belong to a church
Nope. He just wants you to belong to Him, which will make you part of
the invisible church, of which He is the head. Yes, He will lead you to
a place where you can worship and fellowship with other like-minded believers,
and reach out to those in need, but His primary purpose is to make you
one with Him.
Having your name on the membership rolls of a church, in and of itself,
is absolutely worthless. Having your name in the Book of Life is the only
thing that matters. Get connected to Him, get connected to other believers,
and you will find the balance and satisfaction in life you were created
He works primarily through big-name evangelists
No, He works mainly through the rank-and-file believers, and the genuine
evangelists will be quick to agree with this. When you enter into this
incredible way of life, you will have a desire to help those around you
find what you have found. And your infectious joy will have a powerful
effect on those still on the outside, as will your prayers that they too
will be led into the truth. Evangelists plant seeds, but it is the person
living near us that often has the most profound impact.
He will make you rich
Right. And you will never have another cold. If you listen to proponents
of the health-and-wealth movement, you will learn that as a believer you
should be driving a luxury car, living in a mansion, and counting your
millions as you live to be a vigorous hundred and twenty.
This teaching has absolutely nothing to do with Christ's message. Does
He take care of His own? Definitely. But is there anywhere in the Bible
where he teaches that His followers are supposed to be wealthy? No. He
is not about worldly success, He is about true success. He doesn't want
us focused on the temporal, rather He wants us focused on the eternal.
To be spiritually alive is to have a clear perspective on what really
matters in this life, and in the next.
He is represented in all Christian churches
If only this were true! If only people could walk into any church and
find the truth proclaimed in purity and power. Such is decidedly not the
case. To the contrary, one will find far too many churches have watered
down the message to where it has little or no power remaining in it. And
some have gone a step further and begun to teach things that are completely
contrary to the original message. It's no wonder that so many searching
hearts in this world have discounted or discarded Christianity as a viable
When you look at the thousands of different denominations and sects and
at the significant differences between them, and at the tremendous confusion
this creates, you begin to understand what a grief this appalling situation
is to God. It was never supposed to be this way. There should only be
one unified church. But it will never happen before Christ's return. Just
know, seeker, that there is an invisible church, a true church, and its
members are attending many less-than-optimal churches around the world.
Look for these people. There are no perfect churches, but there are places
where the imperfections are minimal. Ask for His help in finding one of
these remaining lighthouses.
He wants to control you and turn you into
someone you don't want to be
Well, of course. As Creator of the universe, nothing gives Him greater
pleasure than to successfully turn those He has endowed with free will
into robots who have taken a form thoroughly repugnant to themselves.
If that's what you're expecting, we can't blame you from staying away.
As you know, there are numerous cultic groups in the world who are more
or less successful in brainwashing their members, some to a frightening
degree. Every once in a while one of these groups makes it into the news
due to a mass suicide or other unfortunate behavior.
Relax. Genuine Christianity is about deliverance and true freedom, not
mind control. Anything you have observed to the contrary was either not
the real thing, or was misunderstood.
You may respond, "But don't Christians teach that Christ wants to be Lord
of my life?" Yes, but not in the sense of turning you into some kind of
religious zombie. Remember, this is God we're dealing with, not man. This
is the One who can see the future. The One who knows you inside and out.
The only One who truly knows what you need, and what it will take to make
you the happiest you could ever possibly be. Deciding to allow such a
One to direct your life is the wisest step you will ever take. And count
on it, you will like who you become when you follow Him each step of the
He is especially fond of televangelists
In case there is anyone out there who believes that the stereotypical
television evangelist is something God is proud of, please allow us to
disabuse you of that notion. We personally have no idea where trend of
big hair, strange clothes, huge gold rings, excessive makeup, peculiar
voices, and exaggerated personalities came from. These are not normal
people. You already know you don't see people like that at work, school,
the mall, or anywhere else other than perhaps a country western concert
(and at least there they generally have nice voices). So you may assume
that the churches are full of them. Not so. Again, these are not normal
We are not impugning on their motives here. That's between them and God.
But we do believe that they do a great disservice to the cause they are
attempting to advance.
He hates you and plans to send you to Hell
It can sure feel that way sometimes, can't it? Some manifestations of
Christianity paint God as a fearsome judge who is just waiting to rain
fire and brimstone down upon us, but is restrained by the intercession
of various mediators, the vast majority of whom are dead human beings.
Just a side note here: Praying to any mere human being, living or dead,
is a perfect waste of time.
Realize also that a sense of guilt can cause us to feel that God is after
it's true, He's after you, but not so He can strike you dead, or make
your life miserable. Rather He wants to free you forever both from the
guilt, and from the actions that caused you feel it in the first place.
Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not for mankind. Every
time a human enters that fearsome place, it grieves the heart of God more
than we can possibly imagine.
He was born in Judea, but is actually an American
If you have been bothered by the way that some organizations or individuals
have attempted to Westernize cultures they are ostensibly trying to reach
for Christ, we are sympathetic to your concerns. While in most cases their
genuine purpose is just to evangelize, many times they fail to respect
the rich cultures of the indigenous people. One of the hallmarks of true
Christianity is that it meets the needs of all people in all times in
all situations in all places.
So while Christian teaching seeks to lead those whose culture allows,
for example, the subjugation and mistreatment of women, to a better way
of living, it doesn't demand that anyone cease to eat fried tarantulas.
He is a haven only for socially maladjusted
and marginally intelligent poor people
Because some Christian groups are not terribly successful at spreading
the good news, and thus increasing their ranks with people from all strata
of society, they often end up with a disproportionate number of those
who don't fit well in normal society. Since these individuals are often
actively shunned by others, they find harbor in organizations who don't
turn them away.
This can lead people to think that "normal" people don't become Christians.
Add to this the reality that individuals who are wealthy and/or intelligent
are much more likely to be irreligious and resistant to the claims of
Christ, and you can easily end up with congregations that are not at all
representative of the society in which they live. The more healthy a given
church is, the more it will tend to have a balanced representation of
people of all ages and from all walks of life.
He recognizes that Christianity is one
of several paths that lead to Him
Sorry, we know this annoys a lot of people, but it isn't true. All paths
don't lead to God. However compelling other religions and paths may appear,
and however passionate their adherents may seem to be, there is only one
door to Heaven, and it is through Jesus Christ. Now if the Bible is nonsense
and Jesus Christ isn't who He said He was, then you are safe to ignore
this exclusive claim.
He is just a great moral teacher
We'll let this quote from C.S. Lewis in his excellent book, Mere Christianity,
handle this one:
"I'm trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really silly thing
that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great
moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That's the one
thing we mustn't say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of
things Jesus said wouldn't be a great moral teacher. He'd either be a
lunatic—on a level with the man who says he's a poached egg—or
else He'd be the Devil of Hell.
"You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God:
or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you
can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and
call Him Lord and God. But don't let us come with any patronizing nonsense
about His being a great moral teacher. He hasn't left that open to us.
He didn't intend to."