How do we Christians shrink down Christianity? It starts with two words: weaponize and demonize.
It amazes me as we believers respond to the latest events and trends we see online. It seems we throw away what we have learned from the Bible. And the unbelieving world is watching.
Nothing is more disheartening when we use the Bible for our selfish advantage. This is common to false preachers who twist the Scripture. But how can a Bible believer be involved with this God dishonor in deeds. We’ll it is by weaponizing the Bible to shoot people down. We cherry picked verses and throw it to our opponents. Although we really need those verses to uncover our own shortcomings and drives us to repent, but how the persons way of treating the passage and the people he is targeting can be seen as unloving. The motives is not growing on the soil of love and kindness but self-righteousness.
On the other hand, we demonized gray area in our lives like how we look, the entertainment we consume or the food we take. Basically, everything can be a target as long as we can exalt ourselves and put down anyone who gets on our way. that should have been an opportunity to display grace and kindness to people we don’t disagree with. Believers sometimes turn gray areas into black and white as if its an non negotiable doctrine. Then when people disagree, they’re anathematize. If people don”t conform to what we believe, we dismiss them as heretics.
Weaponizing Scripture and demonizing gray areas of the faith are templates for an unloving and self righteous attitudes which goes against what Christ teaches and represents. In an extreme view, it can be said also that it’s a pattern of a cultic group that majors on the minors and abuses Scripture to fit their group’s agenda.
And when you think about it, with those two, we might turn Christianity into nothing. Yes nothing! We can reduce Christianity into some cold spirituality with the set of things to obey and not to obey. Just like any religion if we treat Christianity that way, there will be no distinction. We operate in a way that their is an angry god or gods and if we miss a few of the things he requires, he then punished us. Sounds familiar? Does that sounds like spirituality of this world?
If we reduce Christianity, we reduce the followers of Christ into nothing too. Rather than being the salt of the earth and ambassadors of Christian, we turn into a tasteless beings that doesn’t make a difference to this world. Rather than become ambassadors, we become mercenaries, as John Piper puts it.
So what’s the antidote to this predicament? Grace! Rush to the gushing waters of grace to wash us and reset our attitude towards God and others.