Monday, March 16, 2015

Billy Graham: Christly Business

Q: A prominent businessman in our town makes a big show of being an active Christian, but over the years many people in the community have learned not to trust him. Does the Bible say anything about people like this? — Mrs. M.K.G.
What does the Bible say? That despite this man not actually being trustworthy, he will go to Heaven as his reward... No matter how many he's hurt (to whatever degree) with his untrustworthy ways. And quite frankly, that should be worrisome.
A: I’m always saddened whenever I hear of someone who claims to follow Jesus but has a bad reputation because of the way they live. It’s not limited to those in business, of course; anyone can bring shame to the name of Christ by their moral or ethical failures.
But hey, he believes in Jesus as his lord and savior, which is the requirement Christianity places on admittance to eternity in Heaven, so what's the problem? The real problem is that Billy is blind to the fact that the true failure is the Christian reward/punishment system.
Some of Jesus’ strongest words were directed at those who claimed to believe in God and follow His law, and yet denied Him by the way they lived. On the surface, they may have appeared good and righteous, but in their hearts they were selfish and unconcerned about others, and it showed in their actions. Jesus condemned them for their hypocrisy, and warned us not to be like them. He said, “You hypocrites!... You have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).

Don’t let this one person’s failures keep you from Christ, and don’t use someone’s apparent hypocrisy as an excuse to turn your back on Him... Make it your goal, therefore, with God’s help, to become a consistent and compassionate follower of Jesus.
There's a huge problem at play here... Billy often says that God expects no less than perfection. He also says that we must also follow God's laws. The cruel irony is that there are rules in the Bible that directly contradict each other. So following the Bible faithfully and still remaining perfect (by its standard) is an impossibility.

The Bible says that it is wrong to lend money with interest, and to lend money without interest. It demands that you answer, and not answer fools. You are supposed to love your enemies, but also
destroy them. It calls not to judge, and also includes instruction on judging. Believers are instructed to argue as well as not argue with non-believers. It's a book that says not to kill, and to kill. The Bible even says that it is both possible and impossible to keep the law! There are many more where those came from, but I believe that point is made...

But the bigger issue is that Christianity offers no incentive for self improvement, since belief is all that ultimately matters. Even with all this businessman's apparent flaws and 'sin' he gets to go to Heaven just because he believes. Yet everyone who gets to know me has typically opined that I am both kind and trustworthy. But that doesn't matter to God. I don't believe, so I go to Hell. In no way is that approaching justice.

-Brain Hulk

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