Thursday, 12 April 2012

If it is so easy to become a Christian, why is it so hard to stay a Christian?


Why is it so hard?

We would expect it to be hard to remain a Christian due to original sin - due to the selfish pridefulness of humans. Yet the business seems even harder than that.

It seems that events conspire to turn us away from God.


And that is the answer: events do conspire, there is personal purposive evil in the universe.

Belief in the reality of fallen angels, the devil and demons - personal and purposive evil - is a necessary part of Christianity - and is indeed an aspect of natural law (i.e. the innate and spontaneous human understanding of reality).

If we omit this belief - and the temptations to ignore, deny or delete the devil from theology have never been stronger - then we do not sufficiently understand the world, we underestimate the difficulties of life, of salvation.


And this matters, it matters a great deal. The original sin of humans can, of course, be stretched to explain evil; but will probably prove inadequate to explain evil adequately for us to navigate life to salvation.

Especially in the world as it is now where so much conspires to turn us away from God.


(This is sin, to be turned away from God, and towards the world and ourselves. Sin is not like breaking the law, it is about this orientation. Christ was free from sin not because he didn't break any religious laws, but because he was always turned towards his Father and resisted all attempts to turn him away.)


To live in a world of endemic, pervasive, expanding sin - and yet not to acknowledge the reality of, and guard against the activities of, personal, purposive evil is not sophisticated nor is it a higher form of Christianity - it is to deny clear and explicit Christian teaching, and passively to aid the plans of the enemy.