Can’t We All Just Get Along?

My inter­est in the lat­est tech news over at Slash­dot occa­sion­al­ly allows me to cross paths with athe­ist hilar­i­ty, and at oth­er times posts which almost seem like the per­son is seek­ing val­i­da­tion for not being a Chris­t­ian. I found this one moments ago, and it seems to fall into the lat­ter cat­e­go­ry. And I’ll do my best to respond to the ques­tions. The post comes from Jackie_Chan_Fan:

why do you need to Jesus to have a rela­tion­ship with god?

Because He is the Door; like it or not, God has deter­mined that any­one who tries to reach Him via any oth­er method but through Him is the same as a thief and a liar. Is it not for God to decide how man shall come to Him? What bet­ter way to come to God than through God Himself? 

Why do i need a church?

For fel­low­ship. For sup­port. For growth. For pro­tec­tion. For friend­ship. For marked­ly being dif­fer­ent from the world around you by iden­ti­fy­ing your­self with Christ through His body.

How­ev­er, if you’re ask­ing why you need a church in order to go to Heav­en, the answer is sim­ple: You don’t.

Why do i need a sys­temic beleif sys­tem that prof­its of the good­will of its flock?

Many denom­i­na­tions do prof­it; that’s their prob­lem. Some­one who preach­es the gospel ought to be able to live by it–evangelists and mis­sion­ar­ies ought to be able to be pro­vid­ed for if they devote their whole lives to spread­ing the word with­out time for a 9–5 job. If a church is prof­it­ing in order to buy “big­ger and bet­ter” things or to pro­vide the pas­tor with a lux­u­ri­ous salary, that may indi­cate a prob­lem (actu­al­ly, it prob­a­bly does). The good­will of the flock ought to be toward car­ing for the wid­owed, the sick, the needy, etc. That is pure reli­gion, the way the Bible teach­es it.

Why cant i just love god and be a good per­son for what­ev­er god is, or may not be?

Because in order for you to do this, you must cre­ate a god suit­able to you and then apply to that god what­ev­er morals you want it to have (pre­sum­ably the same as yours), and then you will have a(n imag­i­nary) god which accepts you.

The point of the Bible is that regard­less of whether men exist or not, God exists, and implic­it in His nature is the knowl­edge of good and evil. Sin is sin whether we want it to be or not. Sim­i­lar­ly, good is good whether we want it to be or not. And the nature of both is equal­ly beyond our con­trol. For us to love God, we must keep His com­mand­ments. With­out the Bible, men are only fol­low­ing them­selves or oth­er men, and when the blind lead to blind, it will inevitably lead to the pit.

Why does one have to be in a cult to get some place?

Depends on how you define “cult.” With­in bib­li­cal chris­ten­dom, a cult is any group which cor­rupts the gospel of grace by either deny­ing the deity of Christ or by cre­at­ing a works-based path to sal­va­tion. With­in this def­i­n­i­tion, the Mor­mons, Watch­tow­er Soci­ety, Roman Catholics, and oth­er pseudochris­t­ian groups are a “cult.”

If, how­ev­er, you define “cult” as a group with unwa­ver­ing loy­al­ty to anoth­er (which is the more broad term), most church­es still don’t fit the bill. Chris­tians must scru­ti­nize and judge any­one who would teach them, lest they be led astray with false doc­trine. A cult’s mem­bers aren’t typ­i­cal­ly crit­i­cal of their leader(s).

If the unwa­ver­ing loy­al­ty to Christ, how­ev­er, con­sti­tutes a cult, so be it. I know of no oth­er per­son to be 100% loy­al to than God Himself.

Heav­en, Hale­bob, burned to the ground in Waco… It seems when­ev­er a group of peo­ple get togeth­er in the name of god, they seem to miss the entire mes­sage of god.

Exact­ly what is the “mes­sage of god”? We have the Bible, the very word of God to man, and in it it says that we ought to assem­ble our­selves togeth­er. Any “mes­sage of god” which teach­es some­thing con­trary is, put sim­ply, damnable.

I wont claim to know what god wants… but it sure as [heck] cant be hat­ing each oth­er over sex­u­al pref­er­ences, fairy tales, or exploit­ing the poor to become even more wealthier.

The apostles–the ones who the church­es of Christ have as their foundation–were them­selves poor. They rid them­selves of prac­ti­cal­ly all that they had in order to serve Christ ful­ly. They did not exploit oth­ers, nor were they exploited.

Fur­ther, Chris­tians do not hate oth­ers. We hate sins, cer­tain­ly, and those who will­ful­ly con­tin­ue to sin in spite of the laws of God will prob­a­bly miss out on that love. Remem­ber: It is the love of God which Chris­tians share with oth­ers, and through­out the Bible those who will­ful­ly sinned were nev­er giv­en love, they were giv­en abho­r­a­tion, detes­ta­tion, hate, and judgment.

If those char­ac­ter­is­tics occa­sion­al­ly show up in a Chris­t­ian, they can only be fault­ed for mir­ror­ing God, who they are seek­ing to be more like.

I’m sure as [heck] nation­al health care is a good “chris­t­ian” thing to do, yet so many seem to be against it.

Actu­al­ly, it isn’t. A good “Chris­t­ian gov­ern­ment” would do what the Bible says a gov­ern­men­t’s respon­si­bil­i­ty is–to reward the good and pun­ish the evil. Most gov­ern­ments, even Amer­i­ca’s, do far too lit­tle of both. Chris­tians are called to care for those who need car­ing for, not gov­ern­ments, which inci­den­tal­ly have been and will be under Satan’s direct influ­ence until the Mil­len­ni­al Day commences.

Ah well.. GOD.. who knows what he, she, it, wants… Lets just be nice to each oth­er… i think thats the whole point.

How can some­one with con­fess­ed­ly lit­tle to no knowl­edge of God claim to know what the whole point is?

Know God. Meet Him by grace through faith in Christ Jesus the Lord. Come bold­ly before the throne of grace and take in His wis­dom. Then, and only then, can you accu­rate­ly know what “the whole point” is.

Be nice to each oth­er. Great. (So few Christ-rejec­tors do, as evi­denced in their atti­tude toward Chris­tians…) But in Christ, we’re giv­en the abil­i­ty and the com­mand to love one anoth­er… No, more than that, we’re told to have char­i­ty amongst each oth­er. Only in Christ can such fel­low­ship exist.

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Rick Beckman