Sunday, March 9, 2014

Christianity and water

What is a watered down Christianity?

According to C. S. Lewis it is "the view which simply says there is a good God in Heaven and everything is all right".

So why this is so dangerous?
"Leave the broken, irreversible past in God's hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him."
Oswald Chambers

He continues by saying that this view fails by "leaving out all the difficult and terrible doctrines about sin and hell and the devil, and the redemption".

It is true that it would be easier, and more popular, for Christians to believe that since God is good, He will just forgive us all, no matter what.
"I wonder if people who ask for God to intervene in our world, really know what they are asking. Will they want to be there when God really does intervene?
C. S. Lewis

And wouldn't it be just better if we all believed that the Hell did not exist?

Wouldn't God be evil if He would send someone to Hell?

And doesn't He say in the Bible that He loves everyone?

So, how can He send someone to Hell?
"If you board the wrong train, it's no use running along the corridor in the other direction".
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

These are questions that are been kept asking, today.

And they will be asked in the future also.

Because we people are comfortable creatures and we do not like to do a thing more than we are asked.

And it doesn't feel nice that someone asks you to do more.

But Christianity isn't a nice religion.
"What is my task? First of all, my task is to be pleasing to Christ. To be empty of self and be filled with the Holy Spirit; to be led by the Holy Spirit".
Aimee Semple McPherson

And a nice religion would not be worth the trouble anyways.

Lewis says "It is no good asking for a simple religion. After all, real things are not simple. They look simple. But they are not".

If you want to stay a child, you can believe like a child.
"I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell".
General William Booth

But most of us know that things aren't that simple in life.

And if our problems aren't simple, wouldn't it be logical that the answer isn't that simple either.

Or as Lewis says it "Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect".

If we truly have lived, we all know this.
"All God's plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them... But men's plans ignore the offence of the cross or despise it. Men's plans have no profound, stern or self-immolating denial in them. Their gain is of the world".
E. M. Bounds

And in my opinion a simple answer to a complicated problem, may sound appealing or beautiful.

But usually that is only possible in the realm of theoretical mathematics or physics.

Real world does not follow rules.

Real world is difficult, tough, rude and dirty.

It gets people dirty and it gets people's lives complicated.
"I swell with pride when I can face the whole world and say, "I belong to Him. The mighty God of this universe is my heavenly Father. I'm His by adoption. I'm a joint-heir with His wonderful Son". In that moment when you're prone to be depressed, when you dinf yourself in the spirit of bondage, look up, just pause and remember to whom you belong".
Kathryn Kuhlman
In Lewis's words "if you want to go on and ask what is really happening - then you must be prepared for something difficult. If we ask for something more than simplicity, it is silly then to complain that the something more is not simple".

It makes you want to find a simple solution but every time you do that, you will be disappointed.

Because simple solutions for complicated problems, just don't work out.

"Your sorrow itself shall be turned into joy. Not the sorrow to be taken away, and joy be put in its place, but the very sorrow which now grieves you shall be turned into joy. God not only takes away the bitterness and gives sweetness in its place, but turns the bitterness into sweetness itself".
Charles H. Spurgeon

Like Lewis says "Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. It it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have".

Is it the time to leave behind the childhood and all these simple philosophies?

All the over-simple answers that we are given by the society?

Our problems are not simple.

So the answer is not going to be simple either.
"Christ is not a reservoir but a spring. His life is continual, active and ever passing on with an outflow as necessary as its inflow. If we do not perpetually draw the fresh supply from the living Fountain, we shall either grow stagnant or empty. It is, therefore, not so much a perpetual fullness as a perpetual filling".
A. B. Simpson

This post is part of an on-going series.

To begin, read Natural law. A post about the law we all have in our hearts.

If you would like to know what comes after read the post about Moral law.

Having read that, you'll need to know Which moral law to choose

If you agree we need to choose a moral law, maybe you'll agree that We need God  

After we have understood the need we have for God, it is time to research What is sin

Having accepted your need for God, what kind of God is exactly a Christian God? This you can find out about in What we Christians believe

Why is it so hard to follow Christian faith? What prevents you to believe in God?


  1. Completely agree and it makes me sad to see things so watered down and all 'God Loves Me' focus as if there is nothing expected of us.

  2. The new focus on 'favor' or material well being is getting to me. It seems to be a new trend, and it focuses only on the positive, which I agree there is so much positive, but slants it towards material things. It's getting more and more common with the big-time/famous evangelists. Not sure it's a healthy trend, in fact I'd say it's not. I like the healthy balance of studying all of God's word. Thankfully our church is really good about the latter.

  3. Joanna, you speak for many. This is well balanced in describing the apparent simplicity of the gospel, while recognising how God's complexity cannot be reduced to man-sized understanding. Things are deeper and harder, with mystery, awe and wonder beyond all our expectations. I love the quotes and profound food for thought being offered here. Thank you. :) x

    1. Thank you, Joy! I love the way you describe the great mystery of Christianity: "Things are deeper and harder, with mystery, awe and wonder beyond all our expectations". Wonderful way to put it. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. It means a lot to me.

  4. and that's part of the problem - too many preachers these days are preaching a "feel-good" message, instead of preaching out of both sides of the Bible....