Today’s blog is actually in response to another blog about a well know Christian artist now stating he is an atheist.
There are two major fallacies being presented in this article. But the truth is, Christianity is not a club and Christians are in no way without faults or problems.
There are many Simons in the Church. Acts 8:9-25 tells of a man named Simon that was drawn into a form of Christianity he saw taking place in Samaria. Philip was doing amazing things in the name of Jesus. People were following him in large numbers and becoming new Christians. Simon saw this power and ‘chose’ to believe this new way of thinking. In the end, it turns out he never really had the faith, but just saw it as a way of personal gain.
This type of Christian may no exist in places where the church is strongly persecuted, but here in America, it’s a common occurrence. My first ten years post baptism were just that. From age 14-24, I called myself a Christian but it was really in name only. It was like a club. I had friends in youth group. Then when I was in college, if a pretty girl was going to church, I went also. I claimed a faith in Jesus (just like Simon did) but never really had a change of heart. I never really died to my old self and put on a new Spirit. But my ‘come to Jesus’ moment when I was 24 is for another blog.
George Perdikis was nothing more than a Simon. He saw a way to gain fame, recognition and wealth and took it. Eventually he got bored of the ‘club’ and decided to leave. This is much like someone who changes political parties. When your connection to a group is a ‘club’ mentality, you can eventually grow tired of the club and decide to move on.
A real Christian conversion where someone truly puts their faith in Jesus Christ and accepts His death and resurrection as full payment for their sins, will never change that viewpoint. It’s like someone who spends years only seeing the world in Black & White. One day a miracle eye surgeon comes and fixes their eyes and now they see color. The world itself doesn’t change but their ability to see the world has changed forever. Even if their eyes somehow eventually reject the miracle cure and they loose the ability to see color, their awareness of color can never be taken away. It’s simply a reality of life.
The other major issue in this article is the closing ‘argument’ that George makes in the last paragraph. Because he was close enough to the other band members (who really are Christians), he was able to see their flaws up close and personal. A true Christian is fully aware that they are still fully human, still fully flawed. We Christians face struggles and temptations just like non-Christians. In fact those who believe in an active spiritual battle would say that Satan will spend more time tempting Christians to fall than he will tempting non-believers to remain non-Christians.
I haven’t met a single professing atheist who doesn’t point to at least one Christian they know and claim they are a hypocrite. And from a non-Christian viewpoint, it’s actually easy to see how this would look. If your picture of a Christian is a pure and sinless person, you will lose faith in that image very quickly. We see stories in the media about Pastors who have affairs or are arrested for fraud. We see people in our schools and workplace who publicly profess a faith in Christ but turn around and lie and cheat and hurt others.
To a Christian, this is not a shock to their system of faith, it’s simply a point to pray about. Each one of us will face temptations for the rest of our lives. Each of us has different weak points and everyone of us still sins. This is what is so amazing about the gift that Jesus gave us on that cross. When He died on that cross as a sinless and blameless man, he paid the price for every single sin on the planet, past, present and future. When you accept that gift of grace, your sins are forgiven. This doesn’t mean you stop sinning, it means you are forgiven.
Now as we work out our salvation, we are not working FOR our salvation. Our salvation is assured. However, we continue to work on becoming more like Christ. This means as we succeed, we will sin less than before. When we fail, we will bounce back quicker than before. We are not perfect but we are made righteous in His name.