We’re continually amazed at attempts by “Christians” to subvert the clear Word of the Bible. Well, not really, as heretics have attempted to deceive Christians since the founding of the church. Rather we’re amazed the church won’t recognize these false un-Biblical ideas for what they are, perhaps because many Christians are Bible illiterate.
Today’s question: What is the object of Christianity?
Specifically, when the student said “I need to work on my relationship with God” I knew exactly what she meant. It meant praying more, getting up early to study the bible, to start going back to church. Things along those lines. The goal of these activities is to get “closer” to God.
That doesn’t sound too bad. The problem comes as the author doesn’t want that to be what Christianity is about (although they do admit nothing is wrong with getting closer to God).
But all too often “working on my relationship with God” has almost nothing to do with trying to become a more decent human being. … The point is that one can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. Much of this activity can actually distract one from becoming a more decent human being.
Sound crazy? The author goes on to state instead of spending two hours in Bible study, Worship, and fellowship on Sunday, you’d be better off working on being a better person at lunch.
Before we get attacked saying you shouldn’t want to become a better person, the author misses not cheating on your wife and so on is a result of your relationship with God. You’ll naturally do some things, and not do others if your relationship with God is right, as we wrote in our book The Troubled Church:
Perhaps you recall an old episode of MASH (the old TV show, yes we’re old-timers), with BJ and Hawkeye talking about having an affair while stationed in Korea. Hawkeye (as you’ll recall) was the skirt-chaser, while BJ remained faithful to his wife, even in a time of war in a country far away. Naturally Hawkeye didn’t understand how (or why) he could do that. BJ responded it wasn’t because he believed God would strike him down, or even that cheating on his wife was wrong, he simply didn’t want to. (“The Troubled Church”, page 24)
David murdered because his relationship with God was wrong — which is why he prayed create in me a clean heart, and he states his sin was against God, and God alone. If David’s relationship with God was correct, he would not have killed anyone. But the flip isn’t true — working on “being a better person” will not necessarily result in a better relationship with God.
Get your relationship with God right, and other actions fall into place.
Christianity is a relationship with God. If you get that wrong, you’re likely wrong on everything else — which is why heresies are so dangerous, as they use the same vocabulary as traditional Christianity, but it’s nothing more than the poison of trendy philosophy wrapped in a thin candy shell of Christian terminology hiding the toxic poison inside.
Swallow it at your peril.