Christianity Has Been Found Difficult and Not Tried

G. K. Chesterton, in one of the few sentences of his I actually understood, said “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

I imagine a large quantity of people don’t get that. Seemingly everyone and their mother is a Christian these days. Someone once referred to a simple project as “it’s as easy as getting saved.”

I took that to mean it was difficult–few there be who find it–whereas he honestly meant the project was really easy! Oh!

Everyone is saved. Everyone is a Christian. The Broad Road apparently leads to heaven now. I guess they did some construction on those roads since Jesus uttered those oft-neglected words.

Being a “Christian” doesn’t mean you are saved.

I don’t know if that is shocking to people or not, seems like it would be. “Christian” is just a title, a name that represents any number of things, probably something different to each hearer of the word.

To some “Christian” means bearded guys who shoot ducks, to others “Christian” means the pope, to others “Christian” means old ladies, to others “Christian” means Republicans.

Saved people are those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit by receiving by faith the gracious gift of salvation available in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The only way to God the Father is through Jesus Christ. That, my friends, is simple!

The implications for that simple truth are mind-blowing, however! Yesterday I wondered if denying self (what Jesus tells all His followers to do) meant not doing stuff you could very easily do. Denying the use of your awesome abilities to play tennis or play guitar or whatever other thing you think you’re good at.

Is it denial to not do things you can’t do? That hardly makes sense. “But God gifted people to be athletic or musical, to not use those gifts is a denial of the stewardship God gave you.” I think this kind of statement is more philosophy than the Bible.

Not many wise or noble or mighty are called. When there were problems in the church, Paul didn’t tell the Corinthians to get the most educated or most eloquent man available to sort out the issues. Oh no! Paul said to get the one least esteemed among you!

The Holy Spirit’s gifts are not natural abilities. When we deny our own abilities, put ourselves in a position to need God, is when God operates. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Me doing what I’m already good at gives glory to me, not to God. Paul says we should glory in our infirmities, the stuff we’re not good at, in order to see the power of God.

Yet most Christian teaching today tells you to make noise, get attention, focus on your abilities, do the thing you love, etc. Christians are saying one thing, the Bible is saying the opposite. Who should I go with on that one?

Yup. People have not tried Christianity. What people have tried is a in-name-only-Christianity that worships a God of their own creation to serve their own fleshly lusts.

If anyone ever took seriously the teachings of Christ, you would discover right quick just how difficult Christianity is. Chesterton’s words would ring true to your life.

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2 thoughts on “Christianity Has Been Found Difficult and Not Tried”

  1. or maybe it IS using your athletic ability or musical ability and NOT getting caught up in the competition or the focus on one’s self. in other words, being good at something and using that for God’s glory, while not becoming prideful. might be just as -or more tricky-than walking into a situation where I am not naturally good at something b/c when I’m not good at something, i approach it in a completely different way than when I know I can do it on my own talent and like the attention it gains me.

    i wish i was a logical argue-er. this would make more sense…

  2. I hear ya. I’m not saying a person should necessarily reject what they are good at, but denying self has to mean something in relation to what we think we are good at. I also know, in relation to my kids, I am denying myself, I am not told to force someone else to deny themselves. I just want to make sure my kids know what deny self means and to at least consider it when thinking about what they are doing.

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