Faith, hope and mystery
by Frank King
Is Christianity a death cult?
The meme, posted in an atheist Internet community, was startling.“CHRISTIANITY IS A DEATH CULT,” it screamed in capital letters. “They waste their lives looking forward to their deaths and the central figure of their religion is a human sacrifice.” How could anyone so thoroughly believe such a notion that they would create a graphic to tell the world?
While I’m sure there are some Christians who want to die (perhaps a few on their death beds, for example), I’ve yet to meet them. In the meantime, what about “wasting their lives?” Christians who are helping people in dangerous and desperate places are certainly doing something most people would call productive. Should I wonder about the Christians who risked their lives with Samaritan’s Purse fighting the Ebola Virus in Liberia in 2014? Was that just a death wish?
Now, about the central figure of Christianity: was He a human sacrifice? In some respects, yes.
Serious Christians believe God put His love on the line for us through Jesus Christ. In the Bible, 1 Peter says, “Christ himself suffered when he died for you, and with that one death he paid for your sins. He did this to bring all of you to God.”
Nothing you or I can do will make up for our sins. Nothing. Indeed, all of us go wrong in ways we don’t see because we live in a world that insists “if it feels good, do it” and “it’s only wrong if you get caught.”
The only difference between Christians and the rest of the world is we have figured this out. I know I can’t come close to God’s standard of perfection. But because I follow Jesus Christ, I don’t have to. Jesus did the heavy lifting for me.
One more thing. After doing that heavy lifting, Jesus came back to life. That’s such a central part of Christianity that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “…if Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins.” Paul spent most of his life telling people this. And God worked through him to start churches and spread Christianity throughout the Mediterranean.
So much for a death cult, eh?
The views expressed by Frank King are his own and do not reflect on his role as manager of media relations for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and Samaritan’s Purse Canada.