In the Christian Faiths and Traditions, if you’re going to fully commit to this with all your heart, there are things that will be required of you as you read the Bible and do understand for yourself what it is it’s asking of you. I just want to continue with this part 2 to further explain Christianity’s impact on me.
When you come into the Faith, you will soon come to an understanding that your life is not your own. Your will takes a back seat to God’s. Who you are coming into the Faith is insufficient in light of who you ought to become. You will hear throughout your faith journey that you must “die to yourself”.
The notion of self-denial is something to strive for because you’re led to believe that you can trade in something defective for something better or even perfect. You’re becoming less like you and more like the ideal Christ.
There is a problem with this.
You will either strive to become someone else’s version of who Christ is or your own perception of who Christ is. Your intention will be to try to measure up to who the bible tells you he is but it’s going to come down to how you perceive him in your own mind. Everyone sees God differently because we are different individually and so is our lives’ experiences.
Renewing your mind.
What you thought was harmless, may be in conflict with your new perception of what Truth is. For example, you may see nothing wrong with living with your significant other before marriage. But there will be influences trying to convince you that God has a problem with that. There is no such restriction in the Bible but if you were part of a bible-believing congregation and someone knew, I’m almost certain you’d eventually get approached.
You have to surrender your Self, deny who you are, and take on a new identity.Goal’d Rusher
Its a brainwashing and for those with a made-up mind to serve him, it’s enthusiastically voluntary. The bible will clearly tell you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind according to Romans 12:2. When I was a believer, I knew that this was a brainwashing and I was just fine with that because I believed the Bible was the Truth.
Your new identity.
Once you agree to being a sinner, you make yourself a debtor. The Bible teaches you that you were born in Sin and that it is your nature to Sin. Your life is already offensive to God before you take your first breath outside the matrix.
If you admit to this, now you owe God something. So, because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all die and not even Yeshua could remedy this on the cross for his followers. You were sinning before coming to faith and you will sin afterwards. What then follows is the admittance of guilt every time you make a confession and ask for forgiveness.
Sin is a debt and you will never have a zero balance with God. You will know this to be true if you ask a believer if they are perfect.. They will say they have been made perfect in God’s eyes by accepting his son but will immediately back pedal and admit they still make mistakes. They are in constant need of a savior.
Even in my experience, I could go days without consciously sinning but it wasn’t something I could sustain. This is a never-ending debt relationship and because no one in their right mind would accept this Faith as that at face-value, the bible is clever in how it alters your perception of what this “relationship” actually is by appealing to your emotions.
Let me explain it like this:
God is the lender. He lends you your life. He has a contract on every one. The terms are that you will be perfect before him. Because you have a Sin nature, these terms are impossible and can’t be met. The whole human race has inherited the debt of their first father and mother and has no ability to pay the debt.
God decides to take this issue to court. The Judge reviews the case and finds all of humanity guilty. The sentence is Death.
The Son comes in and takes the debt of the world, canceling the former burden. This is what the Son is praised for. But what’s actually happening is, the transfer of one burdensome relationship to another. Whereas God was the former lender, the Son becomes the debt collection agency.
We don’t owe God anything anymore. We now owe the Son our lives. The contract is never annulled but renewed. It looks good on paper but the Holy Ghost which convicts you of Sin acts as the fine print telling you that although you will never be perfect, it’ll help your case on Judgment Day if you at least strive to be. For as long as you live, you are indebted.
Again, no one would enter that kind of relation if they understood the fine print. No one wants to be a slave to debt. So, instead of God appearing as a lender and the son as a debt collecting agent, God plays the part of the lover who sends his son as a message to the world that he wants to mend the broken relationship. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as the constant wooing instead of the inconvenient call from a blocked number attempting to collect a debt; asking if you would like to make payment arrangements today.
This is what your new identity in Christ actually is: one who admits they have a debt that can never be repaid no matter what they do.
You’re not allowed to be yourself.
Maybe it’s worse for someone like myself who came to believe in the God of the Bible at an early age where it stayed formidably influential into my early 30’s. My self-identity was being shaped by religion very early.
My life wasn’t my own. My life was whatever the Bible said it should be. I spent a lot of my life looking for myself within the pages.
I found my day to day life in the Bible but I couldn’t see a successful, thriving future.Goal’d Rusher
I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do for a career because there are no careers for people who just want to live for Jesus aside from clergy. Yes, you can be a doctor or lawyer who incorporates their beliefs in their practices. What I’m saying is, I lost myself so much to the faith that I didn’t even know what I was good at doing as such would lead to possible career choices.
That is how enamored with my Faith that I was. My world didn’t function right without it. My faith defined me.
I grew more knowledgeable and devout as the years went. The more I conformed to the things of God, the less connected to the world I became. It became more difficult to relate to my secular peers. I just didn’t do the things they did and wasn’t comfortable when I tried.
I was trying to live such a set apart life before God but what was really happening was, I was suppressing who I really am.
What about you?
You probably never heard someone speak about what a relationship with God is like from this angle before. If you’re thinking about becoming a Christian, I say turn around and go another way. This will be your bondage; not your freedom.
If you have any questions or a response to this post, I’ll hear you out. Just remember to subscribe to the blog and share it with a friend. Much thanks, everyone.