Being a good Christian sounds nice. But to me, it is trying to feed the ego so that I can feel better about myself. It is trying to build up churches, ministries, fellowship, etc. in order to serve the self. It is worshiping pastors, doctrines, denominations, and convenient interpretation of Bible verses, not serving others like Jesus taught us. It is not even about Jesus or God, it is simply about the self.
Being a good Christian is looking for “salvation,” waiting to go “up there” in heaven, or hoping to have some miraculous revelation from God. Not being a good Christian, on the other hand, would be to stop looking, and simply being. It means to stop following the church, and start following Jesus. Now, my personal experience of being is to embrace what I have learned is good and practice it everyday. It is not to do what I have been told many times is expected from church (even if they say it is what God wants).
What follows are a few tips on how Not to be a good Christian.
Stop Attending Church. Yes, you read it right. It is truly a waste of time, unless you go to learn more about how to feed the hungry, visit orphans, shelter the homeless, fight for justice, and make peace. But if it involves singing, greeting each other, praying, and listening to a sermon that promotes religiosity and indoctrination of the denomination, like I have witnessed all of my life, then Jesus is being left hungry and naked. Many times, and I recently visited one which confirmed this, churches are basically a celebration, like a pep rally. And people experience the same excitement and pleasure as when people go to concerts, movie theaters, political conventions, and sports events. No difference.
Dare to doubt. Question what you were taught to believe, especially if it only helps the church to grow, not promote justice. Dare to believe in making peace, loving our enemies, forgiving, feeding the poor, being humble, and other perfect selfless characteristics that Jesus taught us at the Sermon on the Mount.
Accept change. It is all about Transition. It is all a transition from one stage in life to another. I have learned in life that we must lose some in order to gain some. When we hold on to specific ideals, people, jobs, etc. without the state of mind that nothing is eternal, then we would be stagnated. We don’t grow. People die, jobs are lost, friends leave, opportunities change, simply because life goes on. I should not hold on to an ideal for too long, because then the reality of the inevitable transition of life will surprise me and the result is disillusionment, chaos, and depression. On the other hand, when I start accepting the fact that we are all evolving, that nothing is eternal, and that some things end so that others begin, then when change occurs, it is easier to simply embrace it and move on.
Love the Unloved. Do you love those who agree with you, share the same interests as you, and love you back? That’s nice. However, that is just being a good Christian, not what Jesus taught us to do. How about praying for terrorists? How about genuinely serving the mean boss who micromanages you? What about forgiving the robber, rapist, or murderer that just messed up your life? Impossible? If you are a good Christian, yes it would be impossible.
I consider myself a Reflective Christian, and those of you who have visited my blog before probably have read what I mean by this (Please read What is this Kingdom? page). My experience has been that it is not about me. This life is not about following the right denomination, building churches, saying the right things, or religiously reading the Bible and pretend we have a ticket to go to heaven. It is not even about going to heaven, but actually living heaven by doing what Jesus taught us to do: serve others unconditionally.
Do you want to follow Jesus for real? Then empty yourself from all selfish agendas, “take the cross” by accepting the selflessness of the Kingdom of Heaven, and reach out to others. Do this and you will be just like Christ. Anything else would simply mean being a good Christian.