Not the Sort of Religion I Would Invent

Christians have always been tempted to try to make Christianity more appealing

“The message of the cross is foolishness. This is the point: the very nature of Christianity is not the kind of religion that appeals to human nature. Christianity is the kind of religion whose worshipers boast of no glory and claim no rewards for their efforts. Instead, Christians confess their weakness and sinfulness.”

 

If I were going to start a religion—a respectable one—it would sound wise. It would draw crowds. It would work. It would make promises that make sense. It would be a religion of wisdom, power, and glory. It would require all sorts of activities for the worshiper to perform. Eternal life would be something attainable through sincere efforts. Leaders would be accomplished, victorious spiritual elites. Sinners could change their lives and become holy through extraordinary radical acts of service and spiritual practices.

Christianity is different. Our God entered into history and was born in a feeding trough. He lived and performed some miracles but always seemed to be small-time. Then, at the height of his popularity, he willingly subjected himself to Roman execution by crucifixion. This is not the sort of religion I would invent.

Christians have always been tempted to try to make Christianity more appealing. The Christian faith has always been difficult for people. In hopes of appealing to the masses, Christians have at times boasted of other-worldly holiness, this-worldly blessings, health, wealth, prosperity, power, respect, and influence.

Yet, Paul himself tells us that Christians are the weak and foolish things of this world (1 Cor. 1:27). Our holiness appears ridiculous.

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