There is No High Score for Christians

There are many perks to being a Christian: a huge support group, opportunities to personally grow in one’s faith, and a whole genre of music/literature/television/movies, just as in any religion.

Unfortunately, just as with any religion, with all of those positives come quite a few negatives. Christianity has its fair share of extremists and whack-jobs, people who claim to be preaching the love of Christ and practice hatred instead. The biggest offender is probably Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist Church fame, though occasionally we will see appearances by Pat Robertson, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and nearly every politician (mostly Republican) lobbying for legislation that oppresses a group of people.

But despite all of that, the thing that most disturbs me is the fact that many Christians feel that, in the quest for eternal life, we must rack up a high score of sorts. Good works + converted souls = Eternity with Christ.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. I’ve not read anywhere in the Bible where it says that God favors those who turn the most people to Christianity. But for some reason, people are all about converting the masses rather than living like Christ.

I see this most often in retreats or conferences I attend. Out of the multitude of speakers with a variety of hit or miss messages, there is always one preacher or presenter that gets up and talks about how the world is on a slippery slope into damnation, and it is up to us Christians to win the world back for God. I’ve heard stories of a battle cry being established, but I personally have not seen nor heard any.

While the idea itself isn’t necessarily bad, the means by which those people achieve ends is frightening. Thinking back throughout history, the conversion of souls to Christianity usually involves a lot of bloodshed, like in the Crusades, or the violent conversions of the Native Americans. And while there is little to no bloodshed in the modern age, scare tactics and violence are often the method of choice for showing people that Christ is a loving deity.

Who hasn’t heard the fire and brimstone preacher shout to his congregation that non-believers will be thrown into a lake of fire for all eternity, forever suffering the stench of seared flesh and the crushing pain of eternal torture? Because it’s certainly not a metaphor or anything. But that’s another entry.

The point is, being a Christian isn’t like playing Halo (or for the older crowd, Super Mario Brothers). After you die, you don’t enter your initials into Heaven and hope like crazy some punk with a few extra tokens is going to beat you. Most rushed conversions don’t really blossom into anything meaningful anyway; like the parable of the seeds, sometimes the seed is choked out by weeds, and sometimes it is eaten by birds.

I’m sure I’ve led my fair share of people to Christ. In fact, I can think of a couple of instances of where by purely loving someone and being there for them, I’ve helped them see that Christianity isn’t a religion of ignorance, but one of acceptance. Thing is, I’m sure there are many more that I’m completely unaware of.

I’m not in it to see my name in flashing lights. I’m in it because there is nothing better. Shouldn’t it be the same way for everyone else?

One Response to “There is No High Score for Christians”

  1. I’m sure there are many people who view evangelism as a way to “earn points,” but most of the Christians I know (myself included) share the Gospel out of love for people and a desire to see them live life to the full.

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