Who isn't He?
 
It 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.

He is a bigot

He is after your money

He doesn't care how you live, so long as you follow Him

He just wants you to belong to a church

He works primarily through big-name evangelists

He will make you rich

He is represented in all Christian churches

He wants to control you and turn you into
someone you don't want to be


He is especially fond of televangelists

He hates you and plans to send you to Hell

He was born in Judea, but is actually an American

He is a haven only for socially maladjusted
and marginally intelligent poor people


He recognizes that Christianity is one
of several paths that lead to Him


He 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 down upon.

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 to know.


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 option.

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 journey.


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 people.

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 us. Well, 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."