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Why is Christianity so mysterious and self-contradictory?

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by VCR-2000, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    The Church has never been perfect. This is unavoidable when it is constituted of sinners saved by grace. But God is transforming at least some of those who make up the Church. Their walk with God is real and moving progressively into greater and greater Christ-likeness. There are, though, many "tares," many "false brethren" within the Church, people who believe they are saved but are not. They dilute and corrupt the work and power of the Church, "leavening" it profoundly. Both Jesus and Paul warned of these people within the Body of Believers.

    It seems the Church is only really pure and strong in the midst of persecution. Everywhere Christians live in ease and affluence, they drift into worldliness and sin. But put the Church in the crucible of persecution and the "dross" of the Church gets skimmed off in a hurry! The "tares" reveal themselves very quickly in the face of persecution, exiting the Church like rats from a sinking ship, exposing the falsity of their claims to be Christians.

    In any case, one pastor I know of, when challenged with the old "the Church is full of hypocrites" accusation would respond by saying, "Don't worry about it. You can join us. There's always room for one more."

    God has not set out for His Church the goal of remediating the world. The Church is set the tasks of proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples. These are its two fundamental divine mandates, not fixing political crises, or social ills. Individual people are God's concern, not generalized problems like world hunger, or poor public health, or failing democracy. God's view is fixed on eternity, not primarily on the present. The sin-fouled world that exists now is going to be burned up one day and replaced with a new heavens and earth wherein righteousness dwells. It is this future reality upon which God wants His Church to be focused, enlarging and preparing itself for it.

    But this is exactly what God's kingdom is like: upside down. Jesus won the greatest victory imaginable by dying on a cross; he defeated death, hell and the devil by yielding himself up to vicious men to be murdered by them; he came to earth, not in divine glory and power, but in humility and obscurity; he taught the first would be last, that the best life is found in death to oneself, that the greatest leader is a servant of all, and so on.

    To a person steeped in the values, philosophies and morality of the world, however, God's upside-down kingdom seems a cock-eyed thing.

    Isaiah 55:7-9
    7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-29
    18 For the preaching of the cross is, to them who are perishing, foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.
    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them who believe.
    22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
    23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    24 But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    26 For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
    27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:
    29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
  2. Waymarker

    Waymarker Newbie

    Mysterious and self-contradictory where?
    The early Christians got it right by being Jesus-focussed-
    "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2)
    Jesus said-"You have one teacher, me" (Matthew 23:10)
    "And the common people heard him gladly" (Mark 12:37)

    Jesus can be easily found in any slimline gospel like this one, no problem.:)

  3. Victor E.

    Victor E. Disciple of Christ Supporter

    United States
    God is in control, there are many things done inextricably by His command.

    He forms the light and creates darkness.

    Satan (contrary to popular belief) is permitted to rule over this world (the terrestrial) to a degree.

    It is true that Christians see things differently through a lens of faith, whereas everyone else sees what their 5 senses tell them is going on (as well as what natural logic and reason leads them to conclude).

    It's also true there are horrific things going on in this world (because of sin).

    Since mankind was given dominion over the earth by God (since the Garden of Eden), we see the effects of mankind operating to the full degree of their free-will (sinful nature).

    Christians are not blind to 'bad things' going on per se, through faith they just have a much different perspective.

    The Bible changes the person who believes in it.. 'now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen'.

    Trying to explain the rift in understanding here.. it's somewhat impossible because the Gospel divides faith from unbelief (by design).

    Sometimes it takes a miracle or a sign.. for one to convert to the other.
    Last edited: May 11, 2022