Barna group came out with some stats a few years ago about charitable giving, and what was no surprise to me is that Christians gave an overwhelming amount more than people who were not Christian. If you think I’m on here to rattle off to you about why Christians are fantastic and secular people aren’t, that’s not at all where I’m going. There is a misconception about Christianity to those who are ignorant of its teachings that think that to be Christian is to do right or the big bad boogie God is going to get you. People believe that fear drives our motivations and not Love. Don’t get me wrong, don’t for a second think that our God is not just and won’t pour out his wrath on all the sins in the World, but it’s not what motivates a Christian.
True Christians have peace with God because they believe in Jesus. They do not do good works out of fear that God will strike them dead if they don’t; they do good works because they are motivated by the undeserving Love that God has poured out for them. It’s not because we do good things that we are saved, but because we believe in the only righteous person that ever existed.
This fundamental principle drives people in Christianity to give to charitable organizations worldwide. This is why Christians adopt more kids than any other people group. Why they lead the efforts overseas in dealing with hunger and disease? Why do they lead the fight against abortion?
I contend that the bible teaches that it takes something more significant than simply knowing what’s good and faithful to motivate you to act. You can decide tomorrow that you will be a better person, and for a short time, you may be. You may give more to charity and step up and do some things you’ve never done before, but history shows us that this is not a good enough motivator to change a majority into living a life of sacrifice and giving to others. People don’t need a lesson on what’s right; people need a heart change. They need their hearts melted from the source of Love himself and to acknowledge their need for a heart change. When THIS happens, cultures are created, and God’s Kingdom comes alive.
Let me go into a bit more detail. I’ve failed much in my life. I fall significantly short of God’s standards in his word and through his Son. I do not love the way that I wish I loved. Being a Pastor in no way gives me a delusion that I am better than someone else, but what it does give me through the study of his word is an appreciation for his sacrifice and acceptance of me despite my frequent failures. THIS motivates me to give. THIS motivates me to do things I wouldn’t otherwise do if left to myself. This is Christianity.
Those outside of the church need to be very careful in saying things like, “Christianity needs to go away.” They don’t realize that they are saying that they want the most significant source of good in the World to go away. They want what their country was founded on to go away. They want what their freedoms were founded on to go away. There is no such thing as an unreligious society because worship is at the core of all people. They will sacrifice their time, thoughts, and money for something if it’s not God. It’s how we were designed. If not God, what will that thing be?
And those churches that do away with the message of the Gospel and have signs in their yard that say, “Open and affirming,” I give the same warning. You are no different than your secular brothers and sisters because you are not teaching the bible or what the church has known to be true for thousands of years. Your unbelief is part of the reason we deal with the issues we do today in America. You have boiled Christianity down to nothing more than inauthentic kindness and emotions. It is not love to leave a brother and sister in their sin; it’s hate. If you don’t preach sin and repentance, you don’t preach the depth and width of the love of God through Christ on the Cross.
So, my question is, what type of life are you living? Do you give your time, money, and resources to the poor and needy? Do you lay your life down for the good of those around you? If your answer is yes, then this post isn’t for you. You have what you need and all of us need to look to you as the example of what Love is. But if you see that you fall short, I’d ask that you consider Jesus. He’s not a moral teacher who came to tell you, bad boy and bad girl; he’s God in the flesh who came down to save us in our mess. Stop thinking you understand the religion of your Mom and Grandma, and instead, look and study it yourselves. People are always shocked at what they find, it’s nothing of what they’ve experienced.