07 September, 2014

Why Be A Christian When You Can Just Be Nice? � The Dish

Why Be A Christian When You Can Just Be Nice? � The Dish: I’ve written this before, but it’s worth reiterating: Christianity is not fundamentally about morality. It is not, finally, just a system of ethics. If Jesus were merely another guru telling us how to live better and more moral lives, with perhaps this or that original flourish, I’m not sure how compelling I’d find his message. Instead, I understand Christianity as a faith for those who can’t help but sin, one that assumes our inability to be moral. And this isn’t because we all fail to uphold certain ideals on occasion, but because we are sinners, meaning that even our supposed good works are tinged with self-interest or self-regard. Nothing pure issues forth from human hands, nothing escapes from the fallibility and brokenness in which we are inevitably implicated. Jesus didn’t just talk about our deeds, but our motives. He told us to pray in closets and not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing, such is our capacity for arrogance and self-congratulations. He didn’t just talk about adultery, but lust, and asked those of us who have never murdered someone if we’ve ever been filled with anger. I wish more churches would preach about sin this way – not as some kind of list of what not to do, but rather as the impossibility of being truly good.