My wife forward Ten Ways Christians Tend to Fail at Being Christian by John Shore today and it took a while for the steam to settle, but Now I would like to deconstruct this guy liberal Christian babble.
He gives ten points that, on the surface, seem reasonable regarding the ways Christians fail. But when he elaborates, it is extremely clear that Mr. Shore doesn’t read the context when he surgically pulls verses to make his points. The ten are:
1) Too much money.
2) Too confident God thinks we're all that and a leather-bound gift Bible.
3) Too quick to believe that we know what God really means by what he says in the Bible.
4) Too action-oriented.
5) Too invasive of others generally.
6) Too invasive of others personally.
7) Too quick to abandon logic.
8) Too fixated on homosexuality.
9) Too insular.
10) Too uneducated about Christianity.
In point one, Mr. Shore uses Luke 12:33, Matthew 19:21; 6:24 to claim that Christians shouldn’t earn wealth. The context of those versus has NOTHING to do with money, other than the mention of it. The same ruler could have sold everything he had, given it to the poor, and yet dishonored his parents. Jesus’ point was to show the man how wretched he was in God’s eyes because he loves something more than God. If he would have looked further and read Matthew 19:24 (Mark 10:25; Luke 19:25), he would have discovered that a rich person CAN enter the kingdom of God. It’s just not as easy as if he were not wealthy. If we read Proverbs 3:9-10, we learn that God will bless us with wealth AS LONG AS we also understand Luke 12:34 in that our wealth must honor God first. While these verses do not quantify what wealth is, it recognizes that every individual has his own personal wealth in which God has blessed him and his stewardship. God doesn’t hate rich people; He hates what those rich people sometimes do.
I actually do agree with point two; hopefully for the same reasons. The first thing we Christians must understand is that we are wretched, filthy sinners because we have broken God’s Law (The Ten Commandments). Once we are humbled in knowing that we are doomed to an eternity in hell, we then can receive salvation by faith alone, through grace alone, in Jesus alone, God as man, had himself punished and killed to pay the price for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. God is everything and we Christians are blessed to have a God that loves us so much, He would make the ultimate sacrifice.
In point three, Mr. Shore uses Luke 8:9-10 to convey how confusing the Word of God is and that we shouldn’t believe the literate words of the bible. Well, yes, there are mysteries that only God can know, i.e. Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32, but the parables are easily understood if you read and study what Jesus says. The Parable of the Sower in Luke 8 wouldn’t still be a mystery if he READ ON THROUGH THE REST OF THE CHAPTER (in fact the exact answer starts only one verse further in v. 11. And if the bible should be so blindly followed, why does Mr. Shore bother to use any verses at all? 2 Timothy 3:16 settles the matter by using the world “ALL.”
In regards to point four, Mr. Shore seems to forget that Christians are commanded and commissioned to do things in the Name of Christ. But specifically, Matthew 5:16; John 3:21; 7:3; 8:39; 9:4; 10:37; Acts 2:11; and 2 Thessalonians 3:6 mention doing works. And these are to be done in God’s name. The Great Commission can’t be fulfilled if we are just sitting around being Christians.
The separation of church and state is brought up in point five. And while I agree that it is extremely dangerous for a state to tell people they have to worship a certain way, it is just as dangerous for the state to tell people not to worship at all. The concept of the separation of church and state wasn’t born in political circles, but in the Christian Reformation. During the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s-1600s, The Catholic Church had gained a great deal of political power and was promoting, allowing and commanding things contrary to biblical teaching. One of those was the concept of “Divine Right” which is the foundation of Monarchism. Monarchism allowed kings in Europe to maintain bloodline and totalitarian in their perception of power as given by God. However, once biblical understanding became prominent over obedience to church, it was the Reformation movement that came up with the concept of an authentic separation of church and state that still honored God. This is not the modern anti-religious argument being debated today, but a fundamental understanding of how God expects us to govern ourselves. If the Christians of the past had been less invasive of others and things, the world might still live under monarchies and even slavery!
In point six, it becomes clear that Mr. Shore doesn’t understand the key to salvation or the gospel itself. Christians are commanded to do one thing above all others that can be physically done and that is to evangelize by telling others about Jesus and the whos, whats, and whens involving His life and Sacrifice. And as a matter of note, this is where that parable from above comes into play. I pray that the seeds sown by Mr. Shore end up in good soil.
Again Mr. Shore is promulgating how unworthy the scriptures and their doctrine are for modern times. I challenge anyone to produce an archaeological or anthropological discovery that contradicts the bible. God offers logic that is the simplest to understand and follow. It’s when people create their own understanding of logic that clouds their desire to follow God’s.
Homosexuality is just a sore spot for non-Christians that it seems that point eight it true. The fact is that sin is sin and all sin is equally detestable in God’s eyes. But unlike theft, lying, and killing, which are committed in secret. Homosexuality is practiced openly. As Christians, we should be able to fixate on sin as sin when we share the gospel. And remember that God doesn’t want thieves, liars, and murderers or homosexuals. He wants sinner who have repented and trusted in Jesus as their salvation.
In point 9, Mr. Shore speaks of Christians spend time with only Christians. He says Christians stop doing that to spend time with non-Christians. This seems to contradict, one of many in his piece, points four and six. And while we should be spreading the gospel to unbelievers, the bible does command us to group together as Christians – 2 Corinthians 6:14. While it is fine to socialize with non-Christians, we should be willing, as Christians, to witness at a moments notice. If our focus is on the socializing alone, God doesn’t get glory unless we can witness or do works in His name.
On point ten, I can basically agree. However, not for the same reasons. Secular society, pop-culture, politics and several other factors have become such distractions that people don’t willingly pay much attention to the bible. And since neither the Great Schism nor the Diet of Worms have anything to do with the gospel, they don’t really matter when it comes to witnessing. And since Robert Duvall and a rock band have nothing to do with the gospel, they are irrelevant when it comes to talking about Jesus.
Mr. Shore has taken upon himself to desire ChINOs – Christians in name only. He wants Christians that suit his expectations and disregards the commands of God. His sketchy understanding of biblical context denotes his lack of Christian understanding. I pray that he will delve into the covenants of the bible and truly learn the love he should share with others because of the love God showed him.