Recently, I posted a review of my book on Facebook. A large number of folks typed “amen!” in the comments. This actually surprised me, because the review (see attached) stated the book will make you uncomfortable. This has been one of the challenges in getting people to engage with the content of the book, since people typically are more inclined to read books that reinforce their worldview, not challenge it.
Sometimes I wonder if people are skimming through their Facebook feed so quickly they see God Is Not on Your Side, and simply misread it as God Is On Your Side. There are entire memes dedicated to our tendency to misread things on social media, so I don’t think the idea is too far-fetched.
Anyway, I was looking through the comments on the post, and in the midst of a long list of “amens” one person simply typed, “What!?”. This made me chuckle, and I thought to myself, “I think someone actually read the review.”
Honestly, this type of reaction is the primary goal of the book. In the USA we are so accustomed to a self-centered Christianity, we just assume it to be true.
We assume God is always pursuing us, instead of seeking God with all our heart. (Matthew 22:37)
We assume God wants us to take care of ourselves first, instead of putting others first. (Philippians 2:3)
We assume God wants us to be wealthy, instead of living a life of generosity. (Matthew 6:20)
We assume God wants us to defeat our enemies, instead of loving our enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
We assume God wants us to be prosperous and comfortable, instead of taking up our cross. (Luke 9:23)
We assume God wants us to live the American Dream, instead of building the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 6:33)
We assume God wants us to be a celebrity or a leader, instead of living as a servant. (Matthew 20:26)
We assume God wants us to fight our battles with guns and other physical weapons, instead of fighting battles with spiritual weapons. (Ephesians 6:12)
At a foundational level, we assume God is on our side, instead of seeking to be on God’s side.
We have grown so accustomed to self-centered Christianity instead of God-centered Christianity, it feels as though something needs to jolt us awake. Something needs to cause us to pause and ask ourselves if what we have assumed to be true for so long, is actually true. The answer will not be found by “looking within” or “searching our heart” but earnestly seeking God with all of our heart and searching His Word (the Bible).
I don’t know what it will take for us to open our eyes to our self-centered Christianity. On almost a daily basis I am bombarded with news of tragedy after tragedy occurring in the United States I feel would at least prompt us to lament and introspection. Yet people only seem to be digging in their heels even deeper and defending their assumptions, their pride, and their perceived rights.
It has now been over a year since God Is Not On Your Side was published. Though there have been many days where I feel my attempts to be faithful to the calling God has put on my heart with this project are met with silence, I praise the Lord for the opportunity He has given me to write this book and for each individual I have been able to engage in conversation on this topic. I have faith that the Lord is working in people’s hearts leading them to the truth, just as He has worked in my own life.
It will take a literal miracle to change our self-centered Christianity to a God-centered Christianity. It will take a miracle for our assumptions to shift their alignment from that of our own hearts, to the heart of God. The good news is that God Almighty is a God of miracles!
Jesus told His followers it is impossible for a rich man to be saved (see Matthew 19:16-26). Their response was a reasonable one, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus replied to their question with the following statement:
“With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”