Most Christians I know, are not believers. Well, they are belongers, but not ‘real’ believers. See what you think. Here are just some of the things that tell me that most of my Christian friends and acquaintances really don’t believe their Bibles:
- The Best Book: If the Bible is the only book written by God (the almighty creator of the universe and judge of our eternal state), why don’t people read it carefully, over-and-over. Instead, most Christians I know don’t read the Bible at all. Or the ones that have, only small portions fed to them in church — and even then, they are half-listening. Now it is not because these Christians aren’t readers because they voraciously read popular fiction. It is because they really don’t believe the book was written by God or even inspired by God — though they may parrot these words. You can tell by their actions they really don’t believe it. Their confessions are not confession of truth but signals — banners waving in the wind.
- The Best/Only Way to Heaven: If Christianity is the only true way to live in heaven, why aren’t they more diligently spreading the word. If Jesus’ teachings are so important, why don’t they give away their money and avoid marriage and children (as both Jesus and Paul taught).
- Trusting Prayers for Healing or Prosperity: If God can heal, why don’t they really trust that and know that prayer is enough.
- Pray for Real Wisdom: If real wisdom is only available by praying to God, why don’t Christians pray more (most I know never really pray except for meals and at church). Because they don’t believe some invisible guy is going to really talk to them if they squint their eyes hard enough, chant enough “In-Jesus’-Name”s and ask for deep wisdom. They know they are only talking to themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad my Christian friends don’t believe, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be their friend. Religious Specialists (preachers, ministers, pastors and the like) have a vested interest in getting their customers to feel little guilty about not “really” believing — it helps them keep their jobs. You see, for many, religion is not about belief. It is about belonging, identity, social signaling (“see, I’m good”), conformity and much more.
Having lived with Hindu, Sikh, Shinto, Buddhist and Muslim families, and lived in those communities, I have seen this phenomena everywhere. So it ain’t just Christians. Now certainly, there are the radical believers who decide whatever is really true about their religion and try to live it fully (in a horrible, or even good way, perhaps), but I am not talking about those folks. I am talking about the majority of folks I meet. Thank God they don’t believe. :-)
Question for Readers: How about you? Maybe your experiences are different. Do you feel most of your friends or acquaintances actually believe the stuff in the books in which their banners are supposedly planted?
Note: for more on my view of beliefs, see my post “Spectrum of Belief“