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10 Ways Christians Misuse Faith

Identifying some of the times Christianity is used for our own purposes.

Knowing, experiencing and reflecting the love of God is one of the most beautiful things
one can experience. There are plenty of groups of Christians demonstrating that to the
world today.
But unfortunately, this thing we call Christianity can also be perverted, exploited and
abused. Weve probably all used our identity as a Christian with the wrong motivations
at some pointits a good thing Gods love doesnt depend on how good we are at
following Him. But its important to be able to identify and own up to the times we are
misusing Christianity in order to get back to the truth of the Gospel.
Here are a few ways people misuse Christianity:
1. As a Form of Escapism
Some see Christianity as a way to escape from reality, to hide from their problems,
ignore conflict and flee from the harsh realities of the world around them. But
Christianity was never meant to be a carefree way to avoid stress, pain and suffering.
Instead, its about embracing truthno matter how ugly it may be.
Christianity isnt a make-believe fantasy land full of perpetual happiness, tranquility and
joy. Sure, those things do exist, but in the end, Christians are called to fight injustice,
poverty, inequality and to help the weak and poorthis demands embracing reality
instead of pretending everything is OK.
2. To Get Money
Christianity is filled with opportunities to tithe, donate, fundraise, support missionaries
and give to various causes and ministries. Unfortunately, instead of feeding the poor,
sheltering the homeless and helping those less fortunate, many take advantage of these
platforms in order to increase their own personal wealthselfishly getting rich off of the
generosity of others.
3. To Gain Popularity
Contrary to promoting the Gospel, some use Christianity to promote themselves. Its
easy to use the venues of teaching, preaching and leading to create a culture of
celebrity instead of one of humble servant hood.
In a society obsessed with fame, celebrity and viral sensations, Christians sometimes
idolize these same distractionsoften at the expense of glorifying God.
4. To Avoid Risk and Sacrifice
Its easy for Christians to be constantly activebut what are we actually doing?
A litany of services, classes, sermons, retreats, bible studies, prayer groups and
conferences provide a comfortable way to feel productive and meaningfuleven if
were not. Many use Christianity to rationalize that theyre making a difference in the
world when in reality theyre just safelyand comfortablyimmersing themselves within
their own religious activities without taking any real risks or making any real sacrifices.
Christianity is wonderful, but its also demanding, counter-cultural, dangerous and scary.
It requires real sacrifice and risk. Its not for the faint of heart.
5. To Control Others
Some use Christianity as a tool for manipulation, using fear, shame and guilt to control
and influence others. Whether its to promote a political agenda, rally around a particular
cause, support a certain belief or to simply gain powerits a tempting trap. But
Christianity is about freedom, redemption, grace and empowerment instead of
domineering fear.
Instead of domineering over others and seeking worldly power, Jesus humbly and
selflessly served, resulting in His own deathif only we could do the same.
6. As a Promotional Tool
Rather than seeing Jesus as a God, many view Him as a promotional gimmicka sales
opportunity. Whether its to endorse a political campaign, a particular law change, an
organization, institution or form of entertainment, many exploit Christianity as a lucrative
way to gain support for their own causes.
Instead of a spiritual journey, Christianity is regarded as a lucrative business
opportunity. When this happens, our faith devolves into a business, where believers are
seeing as customers, and Jesus is marketed as a product instead of worshipped as
7. To Rationalize Bad Behavior
Christianity has often been used as an excuse to do many horrific things. Its used to
rationalize religious violence, abuse, corruption, ignorance, bigotry, racism, injustice,
inequality, sexism, hypocrisy and a litany of other evilsall under the guise of God told
me to do this or The Bible says this.
8. To Explain the Unexplainable, or to Reject Secular Truth
Christianity isnt about having all the answersits about a relationship with Jesus. But
Christianity can be turned into a list of right and wrongs and facts, and it can
mistakenly become a zealous attempt to answer all of the worlds questionseven
when it cant.
When we limit our knowledge strictly to the Bible and refuse to listen toor dialogue
withothers, were rejecting the truth of science, logic, experience and the wonderful
wisdom of others. All truth is Gods truth, and Christians shouldnt be afraid to engage
with thoughts, ideas and resources beyond just the Bible.
9. To Judge Others
Jesus repeatedly warned against judging othersand yet Christians continue to be
known for their accusatory behavior instead of their grace and forgiveness.
We shouldnt turn Christianity into a religion of hatred, where the worth of others is
categorized based on their sins and failures. Additionally, Christians shouldnt consider
themselves morally superior, self-righteous and worth more than othersthis is sinful.
Christianity is about loving God and loving othersabove all else, try to simply follow
Jesuss example.
10. To Change Cultures
Christianity isnt meant to erase or change a cultural identity. Christianity is amazingly
complex and diverse, and it was never intended to be a uniform religion of ethnocentric
Many mistakenly perceive that a correct Christianity will exactly mirror all their own
traditions, beliefs and lifestyles. Thus, instead of introducing people to Jesus, they
attempt to change and conform people to their own cultural preferences. When people
inevitably dont conform, theyre often unfairly accused of being sinnerscondemned to
To be a Christian is to be transparent and truthful and vulnerable and brutally honest
its not pretending to be someone you arent.
Overall, there are many ways we can mistreat Christianity and commit horrible acts in
the name of God. Its easy to manipulate our faith in order to satisfy our own agendas.
But we also need to remember that throughout our faith journey well make mistakes
and our experiences will be filled with both highs and lows. Through it all, we need to
rely on the grace and forgiveness of Godand hopefully, of each other.