Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I get that often. I meet a lot of people who have some sort of troubles in their life and they show interest in reading the Bible to heal themselves.

However, the majority of these people just approach the Bible in the same way they approach an "ATM" machine, and they think that "if God exists" they should just "ask for a matter" and "God should provide in a button press".

How to explain to those friends that:

  • Faith is a lifestyle; it requires a one on one relationship with God
  • Faith is by giving your life to God and trust His way of guiding you even though you cannot always understand how God thinks, and His ways.
  • Faith is not only by asking, but also by giving to others and not being selfish
  • God WILL provide at the right time, the right moment IF what they are asking for is actually what God thinks is beneficial for them.

How to help people to get out of the materialistic ways of approaching something pure and divine like the Bible and understand there will be easy and hard days through faith?

Update:
Even though I do not agree on all (more details at the end of the update) that was mentioned in the accepted answer, but the solution David Stratton gave which is:

All we can do with those who have been taught the modern gospel is to take them to Scripture and tell them the truth.

Is in my opinion the correct way to do it. Show the scripture then explain it in a spiritual way so that they stop thinking with a materialistic brain.

What were the points in his answer that i had some comments about?

  • I do believe God is love "God is love, come to Him and He will fix your broken marriage, drug problem, financial woes, etc.) " If you build a relationship with him and give him your life and all the steps you make. The Bible says:

    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

  • God is happiness, religion should not be only a feeling of guilt that we are sinners who deserve hell. of course we are sinners, but that is why Jesus died on the cross to forgive all our sins, and thus we may live and be happy and prosper:

    "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "

    So God does want us to enjoy and help others enjoy life BUT we need a one on one relationship; i.e, every step that we do we must tell him "I put it between your hands and you decide what should happen"

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the problem is a result of the "Modern Gospel". (God is love, come to Him and He will fix your broken marriage, drug problem, financial woes, etc.)

The Gospel as told in Scripture is not even close to what's being preached by most Evangelical Churches today.

(That we're sinners who have offended God by our selfishness, disobedience, and unbelief, and that we have earned hell, but if we simply rely on His free gift, repent, and trust in Christ, He will save us from an eternity in Hell.)

Notice that The Scriptures don't promise an easy life. They promise trials, hardship, and persecution. See my answer here.

Some relevant verses:

(Mark 8:34-36) If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

(Acts 9:15-16) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

(John 15:18-21) If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Unfortunately, all we can do with those who have been taught the modern gospel is to take them to Scripture and tell them the truth.

Unfortunately, un-teaching false doctrines spread by well-meaning, but misguided people is a part of life. I'm sure there are plenty of people un-teaching my mistakes as well.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I don't think that by the definition of "Christianity" provided by this site, all Christians could agree with your assessment of faith's role in prayer. However, speaking from a Baptist tradition, I am inclined to agree.

Christ prayed in the garden that if it was His Father's will, that the cup would pass from Him.

Concerning the conditional "not my will but yours be done," we can say one of two things: either Christ had little faith or else He was showing good form in making His request conditional.

Secondly, the cup did not pass. We can say either Christ did not have enough faith, or else the cup was not to pass from Him by the will of the Father.

The same man that taught us how to pray would surely know the proper nature of making his prayer conditional upon the Father's will.

The same man that told us that faith the size of a mustard seed will move a mountain, the same man who withered a fruit tree by command, the same man who made blind men to see, the same man who made lame men walk, the same man who made dumb men speak, the same man who made dead men live again surely had the faith to make the cup pass, if it had been contingent upon that.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.