There are few things in this world that anger me more than people who use religion as a scam. Over the last few years I have certainly come to the conclusion that Christianity is ready for a new reformation. Somehow along the way, the message of love and grace that Christ brought to this world has been transformed into a system of weights and measures where people can determine how “good” they are compared to other people in terms of morality.
I don’t know how morality became the focal point of the Christian message, but I don’t like it. We weren’t put here to the judge the people around us. We were put here to love and serve the people around us.
I have had friends tell me that worshiping and practicing religion does not mean you are a good person. I never dispute this fact, but I also don’t know what it means to be a good person. They tell me that being a good person will get you into heaven, not whether or not you drug your ass out of bed on Sunday mornings. That is good for me, I have problems dragging my ass out of bed every Sunday morning, so I tell them that I’m glad to know that the fate of my eternal soul isn’t dependent on my waking up by 8:30 one day a week.
It is a scary thought process that brings people to this conclusion, but I understand how they got there. What people see when they see Christians isn’t love. It is judgmentalism. I don’t how we got here, but I know it needs to change. Somehow along the ways people came to the conclusion that being a good person gets you into heaven. I’m not an expert on heaven, but I believe this much, grace gets you to heaven. It has nothing to do with being a good person.
Unmerited grace is a gift from God. You can’t deserve it. You can’t earn it. You can’t even buy it. You get it any way. A very smart friend of mine hates the term “unmerited grace”. Grace is unmerited, period. Adding the term unmerited to the front of it is essentially pointless. You are just including part of the definition of the term outside of the term and this gives the implication that the first word is not a part of the definition of the second word.
I don’t mind the term “unmerited grace”, even though I concede the point, because it seems the idea of grace has become skewed in the eyes of some people and because of this, the cart has been put in front of the horse.
A person does not go to church to worship because they are trying to worm their way into heaven. A person doesn’t love and serve their fellow man because they are trying to hoodwink God into letting them into heaven. A person doesn’t try to be “good” because they are trying to earn a certain amount of divine “cool points” that you exchange for admittance into heaven. A person does these things because they are thankful for the gift that can’t be earned, grace.
All of this being said, I understand the reasons why the Christian message has been so skewed in the mind of many in the general public. It is because the loudest faction of Christians are not the one’s that seem to represent the true Christ.
I’m sure that their motivations aren’t bad. I just think somewhere along the way they have become lost. I could point to a myriad of televangelists. I could also point to the Westboro Baptist Church (if you don’t know who these people are, don’t look into it, that is solid advice).
However, what I’m going to point to is a another group of people that are sullying the image of Christianity. These people are the profit whores. People that use religion as a way to line their pockets with cash.
Lowell received this thing below in the mail a couple weeks back:
Can You Make the Eyes of Jesus Open?
This thing makes me sick. The Prayer Rug came with an explicit set of directions. You are supposed to keep it under your bed and send it back to them after 1 day. There was a bunch of other garbage, but I can’t remember it any longer. Then you were supposed to send them some cash, (50 bucks was the suggest donation I believe) and fill out the prayer request card. The prayer request card had several categories of things that you wanted God to give you. These things included material possessions and money. In fact, they wanted you to write down to the penny how much money you wanted God to give you.
Included in the packet was a list of testimonials from people that had sent in 50 bucks and all of the things that God had given them. It was nauseating.
I don’t want to include the name of this church because I don’t want them to get any more exposure than they have already gotten, but I did go to their website to check it out. My favorite part of their website was a line about how they were “a church and not a charity. A church is designed so that you can tithe and give monetary offerings to God.” I have to give them credit for being so up front with their existing only to collect money, but for God of course.