Image by Adele Inamine

Image by Adele Inamine

Evidently, my last post on this subject caused quite a stir.  As of right now, it’s had 80,000 views in four days.  Plenty of you had some “choice” words for me.  But, I’m afraid that you still just don’t get it.

My argument is that when you make fun of Christianity, at least know what you’re doing.  Most often, people spend their time mocking comparatively inconsequential issues.  They mock us for our cheesy music and movies, for issues about church and state, for our dress, or about our intolerance.  Give me a break!  These are like plastic soldiers compared with the US Marines.  You go after Christianity’s followers for such petty concerns.

But if you really want to make fun of Christianity, let me give you some help.  Christianity is far more messed up that you realize.

Let me explain.

Some of you tossed at me the classic “That-Guy-Who-Killed-Babies” argument.  Have you heard this one?  Indulge me for a moment.  It goes like this, “There’s a guy who killed a baby every day of his life, with no punishment.  On the last day of his life, he trusts Jesus and becomes a Christian.  Surely you’re not saying that he is forgiven, are you?”

Like I said, you haven’t gone far enough. Christianity does not just say that this dude is forgiven, it goes further than that.  A guy like this is not just forgiven, but rewarded.  That’s messed up.

He’s not forgiven, but given riches: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

He’s given the status of being a child of God, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).

He turns him into one who is worthy to receive the inheritance of an heir of God, “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  Can you think of anything more absurd than a sinner becoming an heir of God?  Being put on par with Jesus?

Or what about that thief next to Jesus on the cross?  He might have been murderer, maybe even a baby-killer.  And what did Jesus say to him?  “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).  He got Paradise after a lifetime of sin and crime.

I could go on.  But the more I list, the madder and madder you’ll get.  The injustice of it all!

The absurdity and atrocity of Christianity is that any schmuck with sincere faith will be treated like royalty by God himself.

How can this be?  Because Jesus became the schmuck first.  “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin” (Romans 8:3).  Jesus became everything we are so that we might become everything that he is.

This madness is the result of God’s overwhelming and overpowering love for you.  So unless you want his love for you to turn your life upside down, then you had better run like mad.

Run like mad and save yourself from Jesus; or stop, drop, and worship, and allow him to save you.

Here is the hope behind all of this offensive talk: the cross of Jesus is powerful enough to save you, whoever you are and whatever you’ve done.

Say to Jesus, “Take me, I’m yours.”

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

photo by Tim Pirfält

photo by Tim Pirfält

In today’s audio blog, Sam tells us the real reason that he loves us.  Thanks for listening and be sure to share with a friend!  This radio blog was first heard nationwide on the Moody Radio Network.  Click the player below to listen.


Emily Danielle Photography

Emily Danielle Photography

Our world is consuming the souls of its young.  It throws at them a nonstop diatribe for what it means to be somebody.  And maybe you’ve bought into it.

Some people actually believe that if you don’t have a $600 phone in your pocket, then you’re inferior to those that do.

Some people actually believe that if you don’t look a certain way or dress a certain way, then you’re not as good as others.

Some people actually believe that if your family is not healthy or wealthy, then you’re beneath.

They actually believe that they are inferior, not as good, beneath, substandard, lesser.

That’s messed up.

I want to look every young person in the eyes and say, “The stuff that you carry around in your pockets or the stuff that you wear has nothing to do with you, your worth, your value, and your purpose.”  It grates on me that maybe they’ll hear me, but it will never sink in.  They’ll go right back to believing that they are less.  We eat lies as if our lives depended on it.

When we define ourselves by what we are not, then we’ll never grow into the divine image that we are.  You may have some kind of handicap, but guess what?  You’re perfect.  You may have some kind of disability, but guess what?  You’re just how God intended.  You may lack some resources that others have, but guess what?  You have access to the Living God, whose steadfast love never fails.

Culture loves to put its young into a giant sausage grinder, in order to churn out more of the same.

I was speaking with an older woman once who was lamenting that she never had the opportunities that others had when she was growing up.  I said to her, “Maybe you weren’t the one to have the opportunities, but to give the opportunities.”  She thought about the ways she had worked hard to provide for her kids and grandkids.  She realized that giving opportunities to others is far better than receiving them for yourself.

The deepest kind of beauty is found in those who embrace the image that God has given them so that they can serve others with it.

Don’t ever think that your uniqueness makes you inferior, for it is the fuel of your strength.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

Image by AdeleInamine

Image by AdeleInamine

People like to make fun of Christianity, perhaps for its stance on gay marriage, evolution, or religious pluralism.  But, these are just the tip of the iceberg.  If you really want to see how messed up Christianity is, just consider one of its fundamental beliefs, the doctrine of justification.  Then you’ll see how bizarre it really is.  If you’re going to make fun of Christianity, you might as well hit it in its gut.

Let me explain.

You’ve found a new job.  You get ready for your first day, put on the right clothes, and show up to work.  Before you can punch in, your boss hands you a paycheck and says, “Here’s your pay for the year.  You don’t have to work for it.”

You’re starting a new class.  The teacher hands out the syllabus and explains what will be required of you.  Then she says, “By the way, I’ve already given you an A.  Congratulations.  Your grade does not depend on your work.”

You’re going to try out for the team, but before you walk out on to the field, the coach tells you, “I’ve selected you to be the captain.”

You want to be in the orchestra, but before you can play a single note to audition, the conductor says to you, “I’ve selected you for First Chair.”

You meet someone that you like, but before you can ask her out on a date, as she’s meeting you for the first time, she says to you, “I do!”  And you’re married.

You’re a Muslim and you want to earn God’s favor.  You know that you have to fulfill the five pillars of Islam.  But before you say a single prayer, your leader says to you, “You’ve already made it into Paradise.”

Can you imagine any of these ridiculous situations?  They all put “reward” before “work.”

You want to be a Christian, but before you can live obediently to the Bible, Jesus says to you, “I do.” 

Before you can perform the commandments, Jesus has given you righteousness and eternal life.

That’s how it was when I became a Christian.  Someone introduced me to Jesus one fall night, told me that he loved me and wanted to have a relationship with me for all eternity.  That’s intense!  Jesus didn’t even know me yet!  So I thought.  Don’t I have to do good things for him first?  Don’t I have to earn his love?  Just like every other situation?  Nope.  Will you marry me?

Do you realize how messed up Christianity is?  It messes up how this world operates by introducing a whole new economy.  It declares your spiritual bank account “full” before you’ve ever made a deposit.

This is a radical, retroactive religion, which works backwards, rather than forwards.  Everything else works forwards: you work and then earn the wages of your work.  But Christianity says, “The wages of our work is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  That’s the doctrine of justification.

Are you sick of earning favor?  Why not start receiving favor?  Christianity stands alone.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

 

(This article was adapted from Sam’s forthcoming book from David C. Cook Publishers, Soul Tattoo: A Life and Spirit Bearing the Marks of God).

Don’t forget to check out the follow up post, Part II, You still don’t realize…