Is it okay not to like Christians?
10 things you shouldn't believe as a Christian
There are many things that as a Christian you should not believe. I am only listing 10 things here (based on the well-known series “10 things you shouldn't do ...”) that come to me spontaneously. The order is arbitrary. And probably it should be more like “99 things ...” - but nobody would read that.
And one more thing: this is a blog. No theological lecture, no book, no encyclopedia, and no scientific treatise. So what you should expect is my very subjective opinion with all corners and edges.
Ready? Let's go!
1. You can do something to make God love you more
Yeah yeah You sign that right away, huh? But is that how you live? Believe me, I have met so many Christians who agree with this sentence with all their heart, but then said, "I have to read the Bible" or "a Sunday without worship is not possible."
Not that you get me wrong now: I believe the Bible is wonderful to read and I encourage everyone to do so, as well as to attend services on Sundays. But do you seriously believe that you could impress God with it?
If you should hear something like that from the mouth of a pastor / preacher (women are also meant here, of course, but I use this form to make it easier to read), then ask him whether he is more concerned with him can boast of high attendance at church services.
2. There is a better church than yours
It's almost as stupid as, "I'm cheating now because this woman is much better than the one I married." What a crap. Every community has its rough edges. The only thing that should serve as a standard here is the question of whether the church teaches and acts in a biblically sound manner.
You will find everything else in other congregations too: too few employees, too many arguments, for some the tradition is apparently more important than the content, the question of the correct baptismal practice and and and. You can find this everywhere. Promised!
So stay loyal to your church, serve God and the people and only leave when the teaching and action are not (no longer) biblically based. But only if you have discussed it with the responsible people in the community in a trusting manner and have not talked backwards.
By the way: you can find that in all parishes too. If you haven't discovered it yet, it's going around the back ...
3. Your denomination alone is salvific
The charismatics dance, the Pentecostals shout “Hallelujah”, the Baptists baptize first, the Lutherans study and the Quakers are silent. The Calvinists leave out everything external, the regional churches rationalize and the Methodists look for the right form. The Amish do not yet know anything about this because they have no internet.
My goodness. Prejudices are as true as they are untrue, and the same applies to the absoluteness of your denomination.
Which one did Jesus bring back to life? No. Correct. Not yours either. So relax You are just as more or less in the footsteps of Jesus as the others.
And what did Jesus pray in John 17:21? Check it out when you've finished dancing, calling, baptizing, keeping quiet, rationalizing ...
4. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are obsolete
Is there a German word that is more or less socially compliant and doesn't match the meaning of the English “bullshit” in anything? Then please put it in here if someone wants to make it clear to you that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have had their day and were only effective for the time of the (biblical) apostles. So to speak, God's power is limited to space and time. So exactly what God is not exactly: limited.
I know very well that this is a hot issue. But I also know that we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as they are testified in the New Testament (e.g. Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4), more than ever, so that the church of Jesus can show all its beauty, Can develop dynamism and strength.
5. Miracles existed in biblical times, but no longer exist today
Now that's a bit stupid. Because there are so many miracles that I could report - how can they no longer exist today?
And what about the following statement in the Bible: "Because Jesus Christ is always the same - yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13: 8; New Geneva Translation)?
I mean, the Jesus who did miracles then is the same forever. The burden of proof is clearly on the side that rejects miracles today - or the Bible is not taken seriously. Would be a possibility - even if the worst imaginable.
6. The regional church is evil
Many years ago a theology student said that he no longer had any hope for the national church, because it is far too permeated by liberal theology, remains far too much in tradition and does not really trust the power of the risen Jesus. In addition, she surrenders too much to the zeitgeist and thereby reveals spiritual truths.
This theology student was taught better by the Holy Spirit and loving people, is now a pastor with body and soul in the Protestant regional church - and you are currently reading his blog.
So if you still believe that the regional church is evil, then close this page immediately, empty your browser history and restart your computer - you never know what it can do to read the blog of a regional church member.
Fun (or serious; that's up to you) aside. No church is evil per se. Where people refer to Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation and build a church in the power of the Holy Spirit, God's kingdom grows here on earth - even in the regional church ...
7. There is no hell
By now at the latest you will have noticed that I like to challenge with words. There are some buzz words in Christianity that cause red alarm bells or faces. “Hell” is one of them.
What do I mean by "hell"? A place where God, of whom the Bible (1 John 4:16) says that he is love, is permanently absent.
Maybe we can agree on a minimum. In our parlance we know expressions like “make someone's life hell” or “hell on earth”. You won't be able to deny that hell exists like this.
But I go one step further and believe that there is hell (by the way: I have no idea what it looks like; I don't want to imagine it either) in the sense of an eternal place where God is not, and that after that Death just not all people will be with God. On the one hand, this makes me sad because I definitely want to see certain people in eternal communion with God, who are close to my heart, but to whom God is not close to their hearts. Not yet…
On the other hand, I trust this loving God, of whom it is said again in the Bible (John 3:16) that he gave his only son - namely Jesus - so that all who believe in him do not perish - but that have eternal life.
Wow. What a cool promise for those who believe in him.
8. You can grasp God with your mind
In my opinion, this is precisely the problem with the so-called historical-critical method of interpreting the Bible. But not the method alone, but the handling of it is so reprehensible. Anyone who thinks that they can fathom the work of God with a purely scientific-rational approach is pitiful and produces a God in whom I do not want to believe, because he fits into a human-rational thought construct.
Mark Batterson writes in his book “Live Dangerously. Passionately Chasing God ”on page 81:
Belief is not logical. But neither is it illogical. Belief is theological. He doesn't ignore reality; he just puts God in the equation.
And that is why it is completely nonsensical to think that one can rationally grasp God alone. We definitely understand God to some extent with our minds. Approach. Those who expect more are overwhelmed, those who promise more are lying.
9. Those who believe in Jesus have a simple life ahead of them
In all honesty: I have no idea how you can get this idea. I don't know the whole Bible by heart (sorry!), But at the moment I can't think of a passage in which Jesus says that whoever believes in him will live in health, prosperity and wealth until the end of his life.
But I can think of a completely different place.
Jesus Christ says: “Whoever wants to follow me deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Because whoever wants to preserve his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will keep it. " (Mark 8: 34-35)
Of course, it is perfectly fine if you ask God for prosperity and prosperity. However, whether these are the best requests remains to be seen. And whether they come true is not in your power.
Jesus did not prophesy an easy life to any of his followers - but that he would be with us every single day and that we would experience miracles with him.
10. Your pastor is a super Christian
Moses killed an Egyptian overseer, King David had sex with a woman who was not married to him, Jacob was a rascal to say the least (ok, he was a liar) and Paul was initially a persecutor of Christians.
Elijah was depressed, Jeremiah quarreled with God, and Peter was not free from doubt.
Why on earth should your pastor of all people be a super Christian?
You have to contend with temptations - so do your pastor.
You doubt sometimes - your pastor too.
Your spiritual life is sometimes like this - with your pastor too.
You don't understand God sometimes - neither does your pastor.
You don't have an answer to all (faith) questions - neither does your pastor.
So stop seeing your pastor as a Christian superhero. He's a person just like you. He is your brother and you can pray for him like you can pray for anyone else.
Are you missing a thought in these “10 things…”? Then write a comment. I'm curious.
Update December 6th, 2017:
This article is the most widely read article on my blog to date. It seems, in a way, to address issues that are relevant. Brendow-Verlag noticed this over two years ago and asked me whether I wanted to expand this blog post and write a book.
Since my answer was “yes”, the book “10 Things You Better Not Believe” is now available.
I won't get rich with it. I didn't plan to do it either - and still don't plan to. Nevertheless, I would be happy if you liked the book, bought it - and ideally also gave me feedback.
Order now at amazon.de.
Or directly from Brendow-Verlag.
The first author reading was something special for me, which I will report on here a little: www.david-brunner.de/autorenlesung-macht-spass/. If you think that this could be good in your bookstore, community, living room - wherever - feel free to get in touch.
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