Dawn and I have been visiting our daughter, Haley, in a place that rhymes with pants ;). In our absence we’d like to re-share a few posts from our archives on a theme that is very important to us:
What are the facts and fictions about Christian faith and how can I trust it?
In addition to the post below on the difference between faith and wishing, here are links to several other posts on this theme that we believe you will find helpful for better understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Christian faith. You can pick and choose, or bookmark this page to read each at your leisure. If something resonates with you be sure to leave a comment or question. We love to hear from you.
Thanks so much for being a loyal reader. Grace and peace to you.
- What Makes Faith “Christian?”
- Treating Prayer Like Magic
- Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD
- Is Christianity a Superstition?
- The Religion About a Relationship
- Crazy Stuff Christians Believe
- Knowing You Are a Christian
The Difference Between Faith and Wishing
During my early years as a young Christian, I gathered some wild ideas about faith. The first influencers in my young Christian life were the TV preachers of the late 70s – yeah, I know – and the pentecostal movement from which I first heard the gospel about Jesus (well, sort of anyway).
From these two influencers, I heard all sorts of things about the words faith and believe. I learned that if I truly believed I could heal people, or be healed, I could rebuke the devil, I could tear down strongholds (some of you non-pentecostal types are wondering what that means), I could speak God’s will about people’s lives, I could even “take dominion” over mosquitoes.
My last post on Why WWJD isn’t WJWD generated quite a bit of interest and some great comments. In that post, I said that WDJD (“What Did Jesus Do?”) is a far more important question than WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?”). If you read the writings of the Apostles, you’ll find that they focused on what Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection, and how that is relevant for our lives.
But, I think the tongue-in-cheek dialogue of that post fell short of explaining how, exactly, WWJD can be a misleading slogan. Notice that I said, “can be”, not “is”. I’m sure WWJD has helped many thousands of people in specific life-situations.
But, I think WWJD is a bit like your first pair of shoes. They may have helped you take the first few steps, but they’ll strangle your feet if you don’t take ’em off. So, I decided to list out just how WWJD can cramp your spiritual feet.
14 Ways WWJD Gives Us Foot Cramps
- It can make us think wise decision-making is simply a matter of imagining what Jesus would do and doing it, rather than studying Scripture to form a consistent, biblical worldview, submitting to its teaching, consulting with spiritual leaders, and praying for guidance.
- It can make us think we always can and should do what Jesus did, when often we cannot and should not.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily about imitating Jesus, rather than obeying Jesus.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily about doing, not being.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily about will power and effort, rather than surrender.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily about formulas, not relationships.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily a way to become a better person, rather than how God makes us a new creation.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily about externals, not internals.
- It can make us think Christianity is something we can achieve/do/perform/work, rather than something Christ works in us.
- It can make us think spiritual growth is primarily about good behavior, rather than God’s Spirit working in us.
- It can make us think Christianity is about what we do for God, not what God has done for us.
- It can make us think Christianity is primarily a duty we owe to God, rather than a gift God has given to us.
- It can make us think Christianity is about how we can earn God’s love, not how God loved us when we didn’t deserve it.
- Finally, it can make us forget the gospel.
You’re not sure what the gospel is?
See, I told you…
BTW – I like numbers that end in 5 or 0. Have you got #15 for me?
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