Has Christianity lost its backbone, and become irrelevant? What about the Christianity the Bible describes?
This is our world. We live here, we work here, we raise our families here. And yet, we can’t shake the feeling that something is not right. Our world is not perfect. It’s far from perfect. For centuries, our world has been afflicted with poverty, broken relationships, crime, war and disease. On a personal level, it’s hard to avoid conflict, to become offended, or to say hurtful words.
People turn to Christianity for answers, but most leave empty handed. Instead of a solution, they find a religion that has, on one side, abused its power, and on the other side is spineless and powerless. In its effort to remain standing the teaching has lost direction and clarity. Christianity has lost its backbone. Christianity has become irrelevant.
But what about the Christianity the Bible talks about? Maybe there’s a solution after all? Maybe there is something we can do – something YOU can do, to make a difference in our imperfect world!
Where does the problem come from?
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” James 4:1. The evil we see around us is a direct result of giving in to these desires for pleasure that war within us. Giving in to these desires causes war, strife, and destruction of every kind, leaving misery and unhappiness in their wake!
Put another way: Do you think patterns of bad behavior spring from the fact that people have been occupying their thoughts, time and energy with how to bless their families or benefit their neighbours? No, this bad behavior comes from the fact that people are selfish and egotistical, and choose, time and time again, to put their own interests ahead of anything else.
It’s easy to criticize and shake your head at everything that’s wrong in the world, and the people around you. But if you look more closely at your own behavior you soon realize that you, too, have this same selfish and egotistical nature. Can you acknowledge that not all of your motives are quite right either? If you are really honest with yourself, you will probably have to admit that not everything you have been thinking about or doing today was done with only unselfish or honest motives!
Other well-meaning people have tried to fix the bad behavior they see in the world around them. They start self-improvement programs, join groups and donate money. Young people are especially enthusiastic about the idea that they can “make a difference.” And this is a noble goal! But outward human efforts will always fall short against the tide of evil that comes from selfishness, because that evil lies within us.
True Biblical Christianity
Fortunately, there is an answer. For those who can acknowledge this, and want to change, Christianity becomes relevant. Why? Because Christianity is the only way to truly stop evil in its tracks. True Christianity not only offers forgiveness for sins you have committed, allowing you to start again, but it also provides you with help so that you can stop sinning altogether. True Biblical Christianity offers people a way out of the sin and selfishness that makes them personally unhappy and causes them to hurt one another.
Jesus said that it was those who were sick that needed a doctor, not those who were well. He came especially for such “sick” people—those who are sick of their own selfishness and sin, who feel that there must be another way to live. If you find yourself in this category, then Christianity becomes the most relevant thing you can be involved in!
Take one simple Bible verse as an example: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. Imagine a world where everyone lived according to this principle! Imagine what it would do for our personal lives and relationships! What if couples were occupied with finding ways to bless their marriage partner instead of criticizing them? What if parents treated their children with patience and love, instead of demanding that they behave in a way that didn’t annoy the parents? What if people also behaved this way in our communities and in business?
There would be no more gang violence, crime, or abuse of power. Employers wouldn’t take advantage of their employees, and vice versa. Think of all the corruption, violence and hatred that would be eliminated if, in the situations of life, people resisted and fought against their human tendencies to be offended, envious and greedy!
With God all things are possible
Sound impossible? “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” Matthew 19:26. Christians believe that God will give them strength to overcome their egotistical human nature, just as Jesus overcame! This kind of Christianity is more than relevant in our modern society. If you want to have a positive impact on the world around you, then Christianity is of paramount importance to you as an individual, because you certainly can’t become a solution to the problem if you are still egotistical and selfish yourself! You must begin to overcome your own selfish nature first, before you can help others.
“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16.
So, if you want to make a positive difference in the world, be this kind of Christian. Start in your own home, and your own circumstances. It will change your life, and you will make a difference in the world. Christianity will make you relevant!