The majority of Christians want to change the daily behavior of all the living, but all the livingincluding some Christianshave no desire to change daily actions. Some love indulgence in evil. Some see no connection between our behavior and who we arebecause we deliberately do bad things at times does not make us bad persons. Some do not believe evil existsall behavior is explained by personal conditioning, environment, and chemical reactions. Obviously, peoples behavior is a complex consideration!
Joining a church does not necessarily change behaviorthere are bad people in all congregations. Exerting power over people does not change peoplewhen the power which demands conformity is removed, most people revert to old behaviors. Thus neither issuing threats nor offering incentives change people. Neither scare tactics nor bribery endures. People cannot be tricked or forced into being good, even if all could agree on a mutually accepted definition of good.
People truly change when their values change. People cease abusing and exploiting people when they value people. People sacrificially serve when they understand Someone bigger than themselves exists. People seek higher values when they realize they can be deceived. People search for enduring values when they realize life is about more than right now. What God did/does for us in Christ changes our values!
The heart of Gods good news is not about heaven, or having what you physically desire. It is about what God did for us in Jesus Christ, and is willing to do for us. In that is the reason for changing our values. If our values change, we remain who we are even if the church is attacked or coercive power is removed. Being Christian is more than what we believe; it is about who we are, always. Do we belong to God through Christ?
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell