Reasons why I can no longer believe: 3 – Unchanged lives
[This is the last of the series. I have other reasons that wouldn't resonate with many folks, (e.g. issues with the EOC in particular) so I'll leave those lie.]
Changed lives are so often trotted out as testimonies or evidence of the truth of God/Christ/the Gospel. So shouldn’t unchanged lives constitute counter-proof?
Just look at what the Bible says about believers:
- If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away.
- Those who have put on Christ have put off the old (sinful) nature.
- How can you who are in Christ continue to sin?
- You are being made into the likeness of Christ.
- You have been given the mind of Christ.
And that’s the sort of stuff people love to talk about when they preach, give their testimony, counsel others, and so on. But where’s the reality of it to be seen?
Go take a look into any church. You’ll see that believers behave just as badly, and sometimes worse, than non-believers. There’s no God/Christ within them, making them perfect, or making them into His likeness.
I’m sure we could all supply a dozen examples of spirit-filled, born-again, Bible-reading, daily-praying adulterers, embezzlers, liars, bigots, and so on. What a community of the saints! Is this really the best that the ‘Holy Spirit’ can do when He dwells in people?
The people of the Church are supposed to be God’s ambassadors. Representing Him to the world. Living as His people in this world. Honestly now: Do they seem like they come from a country you’d like to live in?
I believe it was Karen who posted what I’m copying below. I’m quoting it because she put it so well and concisely. So if my drivel above wasn’t too cohesive, enjoy Karen’s better summary.
“The bible tells us that Christians who believe in Jesus and have received the Holy Spirit have access to God’s guidance, comfort and presence. If that’s true, it seems to me that there should be some way to detect that special influence in individual lives and in the corporate “life” of the church and history of Christianity. After all, people who have a member of the trinity living in their hearts should manifest that at least somewhat consistently – right?
And yet it seems like the history of the church, and the individual lives of believers, bears no distinctive stamp of that indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The atrocities, the horrors, the corruption, the wars fought in the name of Christ, the individual selfishness, suffering, immorality – where’s the divine spark that separates Christians from followers of other religions, or from non-believers?
I don’t see it. There are great churches doing good, and great individual believers living sacrificial lives. There are also great secular organizations doing much good, and great atheists living sacrificial lives. There’s not a pervasive difference that I can see, and it seems if the promises of the NT are true, there should be.”
- Reasons why I can no longer believe: 2 – God as a ‘no show’
- Reasons why I can no longer believe: 1 – God is ‘we know not what’