Ever since trying to Live Out Loud (one of my favorite classic Steven Curtis Chapman songs), I’ve received several questions and statements concerning misconceptions about Christianity. These things are brought about by people’s encounters with the multiple types of stereotypical Christians out there in addition to people accepting what they hear and not researching it for themselves. So today, I’m going to do a sort of “Q&A”. I have a lot of issues I want to cover, so I will cut down on the amount of time I address each one. If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll add them here. Okay, here we go.
Why are you a Christian?
I am a Christian because God loved me so incredibly much that He took it upon Himself to die for me, even though I caused Him pain. Every time I hear these words to the song “You Loved Me Anyway” by Sidewalk Prophets, I am overwhelmed with emotion – the most prominent of which is an insurmountable love for God:
I was the thorn in Your crown.
Yet You loved me anyway.
I was the sweat on your brow.
Yet You loved me anyway.
I was the nail in Your wrist.
Yet You loved me anyway.
I was Judas’s kiss.
Yet You loved me anyway.
See now I was the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this Earth-shaking ground.
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face.
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace.
And then alone in the night I still called out for you –
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life.
Yet You loved me anyway.
Oh Lord, how you loved me.
Oh my goodness! I can’t even type out those last few lines without the tears coming! Plain and simple, Jesus died for me in the most humiliating and painful way, enduring pain and humiliation that I inflicted on him myself. Yet He did it anyway, because He loves me!
How does Jesus’ dying save someone eternally?
Tough question. I haven’t been in the Scriptures much until recently, so I could easily be missing an outright statement that the Bible makes, but there are bits and pieces I have caught. I strongly encourage you to look into it for yourself, if you are interested, because God wants you to know. He’ll help you from there. In the meantime, here’s how I picture it. God is pure holiness right? He cannot be around sin, it is against His nature. We have sinned (once or a million times, it doesn’t matter), therefore we have sin and thus can never be around God. This condemns us eternally. Jesus never sinned once. Not even a lie to His mother, nor a cookie from the cookie jar. He lived a literally perfect life. Now God told Adam and Eve way back in Genesis that the consequences of sinning is death, physically. Therefore, a sinner dies and leaves his mortal, sinful body behind. But Jesus never sinned, therefore He was not to receive the punishment of death. It is my belief that He could have sat up on that cross forever and not died, if He had wanted to. But when He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit,” I believe that He took all of our sins (past, present, and future) upon Himself, thus qualifying Him for the consequence of death, and then He died. HE paid the consequences for OUR sin – our debt is paid. This cleanses us of every sin we have ever committed, we just have to give them to Him. We have to accept that this is the only way we can live with Him eternally. Jesus then rose from the dead three days later to demonstrate His power over sin and death. I don’t know about you, but I want to live forever with a God who not only took my sins to the grave, but also has the power to conquer that grave.
I’m pretty sure God will let me into heaven if I’m just a good person.
No. I’m so very sorry, I really am. I want you to be right, because I don’t wish anything bad on you at all. But if this is what you think, you are severely mistaken, and heaven is not in your future, I’m sorry. You need to read The One Thing We Must Be Convicted Of (Part 1). I hope to have explained it thoroughly there.
But I don’t want to be one of those (circle one of the following) Bible-thumping/fire-and-brimstone/life-as-a-Christian-is-sunshine-and-skittles Christians always trying to shove religion down everyone’s throats.
Good – don’t. You need to understand, there are some Christians out there who don’t completely comprehend what they are trying to accomplish by telling others the “Good News.” But most people you see handing out pamphlets or Bible verses or risking their lives in foreign countries by sharing the Gospel are doing so because they want to make the chronic peace and joy that come from God’s Spirit contagious! These people, and myself included seriously just want to show everyone the joy that comes when you fully realize the gift of God’s sacrifice. It’s an amazing feeling when you realize the unfathomable grace of God. I know that all I want to do is share this joy with anyone who hasn’t felt it before. I don’t want to stuff anything down your throat. I just know that everyone deserves to know this peace and joy as much as I do. I want to do everything in my power to give you the opportunity to accept it. The same goes for most other evangelists, but no two people are alike. Not only will different people have different styles of evangelism, but also, those who receive these things accept them in different fashions. One person responds to facts, another to shock and awe, and yet another to intangibles like love. Thus, those who share the grace of God share it in a variety of ways.
Can you lose your salvation?
Yes you can. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen on accident. You have to make conscientious choices to either stray from God, treat Him with contempt or disrespect Him. I discuss this answer in detail on my blog post.
What makes Christianity different from other religions?
Here’s where it gets sensitive. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I do need to make a point here. Now I don’t profess to be an expert on religion, but I can tell you one thing, Christianity is the only religion based on love and grace. Other religions rely mostly on worldly works and actions (being good, performing certain rituals, upholding a law, etc.). Christianity is based solely upon the sacrifice that God (as Jesus) made for us so that we can live with Him forever. This is the epitome of grace and love itself, thus basing Christianity on those things. I’m not meaning to bash other religions, but look at the facts: What religion besides Christianity has it’s god raise himself from the dead? What other religion depicts Jesus as God himself? What other religion boasts grace, mercy, and love as it’s entire basis? I know I may get some disagreement here, but here is what I know. The only way to heaven is through belief in the sacrifice of God by dying on the cross, and Christianity is the only religion that preaches that. I’m sorry if that offends you, but it’s the truth.
Why do you only use the Bible when you reference scriptures?
Throughout my blogs, I have and will continue to refer to the Bible for as much as I can. The Bible (both Old Testament and New Testament – 66 books) is 100% God inspired. Every single word is spoken from God Himself (through His Spirit in various men). Every last bit of the Bible holds 100% truth. Not 99.999%. 100% truth. No other holy book or anything else is necessarily so. I’m not saying that there is no other book out there that speaks full truth, but I am saying that if there is a book out there that contradicts the Bible in any way, it is wrong. If any person (myself included) contradicts the Bible, they are wrong. Granted, as I have said before, this is not something that must be accepted in order to be saved, but think about it. If you look in any other holy book, you may come across something that does not lead you to God. But every word in The Word leads you closer to God’s will for your life. This is why I encourage you all the time to open the Bible up for yourself and investigate what it says to you rather than listen to me or someone else blab about what it says to us. You may find something completely different. A word to the wise, though. I am finding over and over again passages of Scripture that tell us to be open-minded with God’s Word.
“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world in it’s wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:20-21
I know plenty of people who think with a philosophical and judgmental mind when it comes to these things. I would encourage you, instead, to drop this wall of security and open up your mind and your heart to what the Scriptures say. Then and only then will the Spirit reveal it to you. Keep in mind, you will find what you are looking for. If you are looking for reasons why the Bible is wrong, I’m sure you’ll find some excuses like the fact that the gospels contradict themselves concerning the two thieves on the crosses beside Jesus. Come on now. I’m not even going to explain that one. Think with an open mind and not a bias one, and you will receive the truth.
Who is this guy and what makes him think he has all the answers?
My name is Richard Andrew Clubine. I am a Christian – God loves me so much that He saved me from myself by dying for me so I can live with Him forever. All I want to do is share this gift of love with you! I don’t claim to have the answers to everything, or even the answers to much of anything! But I know that some people just need a little push in the right direction. If that’s the least I can do for you, I will be completely satisfied. So by all means – do NOT take my word as Gospel. Look into the Bible for yourself to back up or contradict what I say.
As always, if you have a disagreement, question, or comment about what I’ve said here, let me know, either here or on Facebook or Twitter. I’d be happy to oblige whatever comes my way. Also, if you find yourself with some other questions you’d like for me to attempt to answer, ask me and I’ll do my best to find a Biblical and understandable response. I pray for you guys every day, that God’s Spirit will grow in you with each passing day. Please pray the same for me.