If You Believe



AChristian is supposed to be someone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed of God, and the redeemer of mankind. According to the Gospels, those who believe in Him will enjoy eternal life in a state of unimaginable bliss. This reward is obviously priceless and of such immeasurable value that it ought to trump any value found in this short and often painful existence on earth. Since a Christian’s whole purpose in life is to serve and love God with the certainty of eternal bliss, it’s amazing that Christians concern themselves with the things of this world. If anything, Christians ought to be not only unconcerned with the trials and tribulations of this life, but also completely oblivious to them and, in fact, fearless when confronted with any threat to their mortality. Death should not only be welcomed, but eagerly sought since it is the gateway to eternal life.

After all, in other areas of life one’s beliefs translate into action. If one believes that the wall in front of one is solid, one doesn’t walk into it. Conversely, someone who believes a wall is an illusion wouldn’t insist on using a door. Actions follow beliefs. Someone who claims that walls are illusions yet avoids walking into them implicitly believes that walls are solid despite claims to the contrary.

The sad news for modern man is that Christians do not live much differently than anyone else. And the reason Christians do not live much differently is that they do not believe much differently. It is certainly difficult to discern on the basis of moral behavior who is Christian and who is not. Virtue is common among non-Christians and vice common among Christians. This is curious given not only the logic of their belief, but also given the statement of Jesus himself when he said, “By their fruits, ye shall know them.”

Of course, Christians of the fundamentalist persuasion will argue that not only does their faith redeem them despite their nasty behavior—to heck with their fruits—but they have a right, nay a duty, to concern themselves with matters of this world, even to the point of imposing so-called Biblical morality on the rest of the population, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Beyond the obvious issue of which Biblical verses should be imposed on the population and which ones should not (no one seems to want to allow men to stone their disobedient sons as was called for by God in Deuteronomy), why are Christians so terribly concerned about the behavior of others? If the only truly important thing in life is one’s private and personal relationship to Jesus (and spreading that message of redemption to nonbelievers), then this goal ought to be the only focus of one’s limited sojourn on this earth. Living the life of Christ and spreading the Word by example (the best method of teaching) is a full-time job in and of itself.

In this country, Christians are the bulk of the supporters of the Iraq war. They will talk about the sanctity of life in regard to the unborn, yet support the slaughter of the born. Pray tell, why? If life is sacred, why should a war ever be fought? Why is it necessary to protect threats or perceived threats to one’s life or one’s way of life, meaning one’s liberty, happiness, and prosperity, when one’s life on this earth is a mere footnote in the book of life? If anything, as ardent supporters of Jesus, Christians would “turn the other cheek” and not engage in war or forms of aggression of any kind for any purpose whatsoever.

If you believe in the promise of heaven, then surrender to the enemy ought to be infinitely preferable than risking one’s eternal fate by engaging in slaughter.

If you believe.




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© 2005 Laura J. Rift. All rights reserved.