5 Reasons Not to Become Christian

Being a Christian is terrible. It is a life of service and sacrifice. A life where personal rights are suspended for the sake of everyone else and suffering is considered joyful. Sure, there's the promise of eternal life, but no one knows what that will be like. All we know is that in this life, we're expected to only seek the things beyond it--the things we know little about.

Yet there are numerous Christians in the world. And not just in name only, there are genuinely millions of people who fervently live out their faith. These people are crazy. They will live unremarkable lives and die forgettable deaths. And though their resolve is stupidly admirable, their reasons for indulging this madness are just stupid. Seriously, if you're thinking about becoming a Christian, don't do it for these reasons.

1. If you feel like you owe God, don't become a Christian. Yes, Jesus died for your sins and yes, he paid a debt you never could. In fact, the Bible says that we love him because he first loved us. That's what Christianity is about: love, not blackmail. God bought us with his blood not to own us but to free us. He desires relationship, not obligation, because he values who we are, not what we do.

Christians who feel like they owe God are more interested in doing for him than knowing him. Their religion is a provincial moralism, and their belief runs only as deep as their fear of retribution--of not living up to their end of the bargain. But Jesus didn't come to tell us what we have to do to be saved; he united us with himself so that we would want to. To know him is to love him, and to love him is to obey him, but we don't obey in order to know. We obey him because we know him.

2. If you want a personal relationship with Jesus, don't become a Christian. The Holy Spirit indwells believers, Jesus called us his friends, and Paul refers to us as Christ's bride. We have a very special and unique relationship with God, it's just not a personal one. Jesus died for you individually, but he did not come back to life to spend eternity with you alone. He died so that we would be one with him together.

Christians who want a personal relationship with Jesus are more interested in talking to themselves than others. Their religion is a self-centered cult, and their belief is in a God of their own making. But the pages of Scripture were written for all people, not just us. And communicating with him doesn't happen in a private room as much as it does in a room full of his Spirit (otherwise known as his saints). When the church speaks as one, the Spirit speaks. When one speaks for the church, the Spirit grieves.

3. If you want to be fulfilled or have purpose, don't become a Christian. Helping other people can be very fulfilling at times, and devoting your life to the creator of the universe may sound like a purpose. Indeed, our very lives are precious to God and he does have a purpose for them. Just don't expect him to share that purpose with you. Whether you live nine minutes or ninety years, you are part of a plan that you will never fully understand.

Christians who want to have purpose are more interested in finding their calling than living out the one they have. Their religion is a ministerial ADD, and their belief is that God owes them an outline for their lives. To the contrary, our purpose may look nothing like the work or ministry we do. It could be the seemingly insignificant conversations we have with our friends or the part we play in someone else's life. It's not something we need to seek because our purpose is our very existence and God's choice to mold it into the bigger framework of humanity.

4. If you're looking for truth, don't become a Christian. It's true that Jesus Christ is God's son, but I can't prove it. It's true that he was born a man and lived and died as a man, but I can't prove it. It's true that he was resurrected and is now joined to us in a mysterious, metaphysical way, but I can't prove any of it. I trust that it's true because I can't prove that proof is trustworthy. I can only choose where to place my trust, and I'd rather place it in someone who might be infallible than in something that I know isn't.

Christians looking for truth are more interested in thinking than doing. Their religion is an overestimated rationalism, and their belief is that truth is what's real, not what's right. But reality is just the process of perception and has no bearing on how we live. One person can think the sky is blue and another think its olive because, in the end, we'll all be judged by how we treat our neighbors, not how well our ocular faculties process light. 

5. If you want to have hope, don't become a Christian. It's comforting to know where you're going after you die, and it's encouraging to understand that God has a plan in the midst of suffering. Hope is powerful and it can transport us from an awful present into a glorious future. But as much as Jesus promised that he's a preparing a place for us, he expects us to make the most of the place we're in. We weren't saved so that we could spend our lives wishing to be someplace else.

Christians who want to have hope are more interested in running from difficulty than learning from it. Their religion is a stubborn optimism, and their belief is that evil only exists if you can't find the good. However, Jesus doesn't need an army of spin doctors. He doesn't need people who are so afraid of doubt that they shake off every moment of suffering instead of being shaped by them. He needs us to be people who embrace suffering as part of being faithful, not despite it.

None of those reasons seem selfish but they're all ultimately self-serving. We want to owe God because we want to impress him. We want a personal relationship with God because we want to own him. We want to have purpose because we want to be noticed. We want to find truth because we want to be right. And we want to have hope because we don't want to be wrong. None of these reasons have any business being entertained by the selfless Christian.

The only reason to become a Christian is if you hate evil and simply want to do good. Of course, anyone can hate evil and love good for selfish reasons, but only the Christian can truly live selflessly. Our lives are not our own; they are everyone else's. And just like there is no greater love than sacrifice, there is no greater good than selflessness. No one can boast that without having Christ because without him, no one would want to live like that.

Sound like fun?

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Comments

  1. While it may not sound like fun, it does sound fulfilling. Then again, what is the goal of our lives? To have fun or to fulfill God's plan for our lives? To live for ourselves or to live for something greater than ourselves? Selfishness or selflessness? You hit the nail right on the head. While I don't think you should become a Christian for solely any of the reasons you listed, I think one can become a Christian for a little bit of ALL of the reasons you listed. Gratitude, relationship, meaning, truth (where else could we go? You have the words of life!) and hope are all by-products of becoming a Christian. I think that these five reasons you listed look like a path to Christ-centered selflessness. In a search for meaning, I discover truth in the person of Jesus Christ. He offers me a relationship with God by grace through faith in Him. Once I am filled with the Holy Spirit and am transformed into a grateful follower of Jesus who is given hope beyond this life. This path leads to selflessness. I discover that as I am transformed by God's Spirit and conformed to the image of the Son, I am now supernaturally enabled to live selflessly.
    When we come to Christ, our motives are never pure. Beggars don't ask where the bread comes from. All they know is that they're hungry and someone is offering them bread. I am a grace beggar. I do not know anywhere near enough to understand all the particulars about grace, faith and salvation. I just know that I need it. My motives for becoming a Christian were probably not pure or selfless. I just knew that I needed a Savior. I still, some 34 years later, do not have the purest of motives. I hate evil and want to do good, yet find that I do far too much evil and not enough good. I still need the grace each day that saved me so long ago.
    Thanks for the thoughts. I love the way you challenge me!

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  2. Thanks, man. All of these reasons betray a false religion. As you said, we can certainly have hope (we're commanded to) and we can have truth (his word is truth), but they're results, not reasons. Coming to Christ isn't a matter of getting but giving. We confess evil, our desire to combat it, and our inability to do so without Christ (if that sounds a little Catholic, that's because it is).

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  4. God’s favor upon you Alex!
    I enjoyed the article and understand what you are saying. However, the statement of yours in your reply to Shawn caught my attention, "Coming to Christ isn't a matter of getting but giving."

    I may be misunderstanding what you are saying but would not a more accurate statement be, “Living for Christ isn’t a matter of getting but giving”?

    The reason I ask that is that your statement seems to suggest that when we come to him initially it’s not about what he can give us but what we can give to him and others. Am I correct?

    If that is the case, then I have to respectfully disagree with it. Why?

    When someone initially comes to Christ, outside of simply giving their self to him fully, they are not thinking about what they can give or do for him. Instead, they are thinking about what Christ is going to give to them . . . the right to become a child of God, forgiveness, eternal life, salvation, the gift of the Holy Spirit, being cleansed from their past sins and guilt, and mercy.

    Even after “coming to Christ” we are expect and hope to get something . . . fellowship with him and the Father, the peace that passes understanding, a crown of righteousness, life, and or unfading glory, and other rewards for remaining faithful and living a life of love and good works as a follower of Christ.

    I understand some rewards mentioned are literal and others may be metaphorical but the point I am making is that no one truly comes to or even serves Christ out of only a desire to give and not receive. Not even Paul, who very few of us could ever claim to be of his stature in serving Christ, gave us a whole list in Philippians 3:7-16 of what he looked, hoped, strained toward, and pressed on to gain from serving Christ.

    It is interesting that he ends that statement with the following, “15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

    Even Jesus himself promised that if his listeners came to him, sought the Father, and obeyed his words they would receive something in return . . . Rest (Matt 11:28), necessities of life (Matt 6:33), eternal life, never hunger or thirst spiritually, the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and other rewards.

    As we read the rest of the New Testament we find that it reiterates much of the above regarding faithful Christ followers. Because of what Christ has done and provides for us, as we grow in our faith, we begin to develop a different perspective on life, our relationship with others and our Heavenly Father as we are transformed into the image of Christ. We become more thankful for what God has done for us through the cross and resurrection. Hope grows within us regarding the hereafter and how God will work in our lives to help us become better followers of Him and what life will be like in eternity. Our faith begins to lead us to express itself through love and good works and in sharing the gospel message with others so they can also share in the same fellowship with God and the body of Christ.

    In the end, we hope in assured faith to hear. . .

    “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” and

    “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

    So, from my understanding of the scriptures and human nature, when most of us come to Christ it is a matter of getting and not giving. But as we begin to live our lives as Christ followers and grow in our faith, our lives should become one of primarily giving than one of getting as we express our faith in our daily lives.

    Keep up the writing. I am looking forward to reading more of your writings the possibility of being challenged to think outside of the box in regards to my faith and why I believe what I believe.

    Brothers in Christ and God’s favor upon you and your family!

    Lynn Skelton

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