How Christian Are You?

I wrote an entirely different post yesterday to put up for this week. It can wait until Monday. This morning, being the news junkie that I am, I was checking into some headlines on my Summly App, which allows you to customize what kind of news you want to see. Naturally, two of my key words that Summly searches for in the news each day are Jesus and Christianity. So, as I was perusing the headlines under my Christianity tab, I came across this little gem.... "Christianity Quiz Shows 1 in 4 Christians are Not Very Christian" (absolutely mind-blowing how great the title of that article is). In the name of research, I decided to read the summary of the article, then the article in it's entirity. Now, some of you may be sitting there thinking "Well they suckered you" but you would be wrong. I only visited the website and looked at the quiz as fodder for this blog. Let me just share what the disclaimer says:

"The Christianity Quiz is a 10 question self-assessment to gauge how well your daily thoughts and actions reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is not intended to pass judgment on you. We are aware that no quiz can assess the complete Christian experience, nor can it peer into your heart as God can. And so, this Christianity Quiz is not intended to say whether you are or are not a Christian. It’s not intended to say whether you are a good or bad person. However, when taken for what it is, it can be used as a reflection of your current level of engagement with your Christian faith. If you are a new Christian, you would expect your score to increase over time as you continually seek to know God and His ways more and more. And you should expect your score to increase over time as you submit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, obeying his teachings. If you have been a Christian for a longer time, you might expect your score to fluctuate up or down over time as you renew your commitment or find yourself drifting away. Every Christian goes through times where they feel more or less connected to God, and this quiz can generally gauge where you are at right now. Good luck on the Christianity Quiz and let us know if you have any feedback on it using our About > Contact Us form."

I almost don't know where to begin...so I highlighted the parts that bothered me the most, let's start with the fact that it's only 10 questions. 10. Ten. 1/10 of 100. 10 questions. That's it. Apparently the valuation of your faith can be measured by 10 simple questions, because, well, being a Christian is just that easy. Wrong.Wrong.Wrong. The first issue I have with this, is that 10 questions on a website cannot assess my heart, there's absolutely no way. The second big issue with the 10 questions is, who on Earth has the authority or audacity to think that they have the authority to create these 10 questions. Where in the Bible does it say, "In order to know whether you are following Christ, answer 10 questions created by some over-zealous, self-proclaimed prophet". I'm not saying the website itself does not have any validity or a mission worth talking about.. to be honest, at this point I haven't taken much time to research the rest of the website because this is about this absurd Quiz. That, despite that it claims to let you gauge where you are right now, is in no way judging you. Even though the end results range from "Far From Christ" to "Spiritually Mature". I for one, am confident that an online quiz can accurately assess my spiritual maturity.. because, you know, there's no way that you could nullify the accuracy by answering in a way that you believe will give you a better score. I did my best to not read too much into the questions (and by that I mean, try to answer in a way that would skew the results) and went through all 10 questions. I gave strong consideration to taking a "screen-shot" of each question, but figured there might be some copyright infringement or something there... so I only took a screen shot of the first one:

That's right, this quiz is only for Christians. and by clicking that little button, you are affirming that you are a Christian. It's like an online version of the Sinner's Prayer... So, after affirming my salvation by clicking a button, I started the quiz (against my better judgement). The questions are things like "How often do you read your Bible and/or spend quiet time with The Lord", and "When someone recklessly cuts you off in traffic, you respond by:". Now, I'm not saying these questions are not valid questions, and can't serve as accountability if they address things you struggle with. However, I also don't believe that answering these 10 questions can provide and accurate summation of where I am in my relationship with Christ. Again, for the sake of this blog alone and because I fully believe in transparency between myself and my readers, let me provide my results in the next image:

Go ahead and applaude me, I'm a "Good Christian". That's right, as you sit there in your jealousy, I am basking in my achievment of being a "Good Christian"... which means I will stop here and coast until I reach eternity!!! Here's the real problem, I think they got it backwards. First off, considering I know myself better than the internet does, I would say, unfortunately, I struggle more with truly living as a Christian outwardly than I do inwardly. Which begs the question, if we are "living as a good Christian outwardly" but not inwardly (as the quiz says) does that really make me a "Good Christian". If I am not inwardly seeking Christ the way I should, but outwardly I allow the world to think that I am... aren't I decieving the world? Aren't I causing my brothers to stumble by pretending like I am someone I am not? I understand that actions speak louder than words, so living that way outwardly is extremely important. However, I also fully believe in transparency, and in order to be held accountable, my brothers and sisters in Christ need to know what I'm struggling with. Living one way behind closed doors, and another way out in public is hypocritical-- I don't feel like that makes me a "Good Christian" at all.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe you disagree with me... I want to know your thoughts. I don't have all the answers, I just have my reactions and opinions. To me, my faith and relationship with Christ absolutely CAN NOT be measured by 10 questions. To be honest, I think this can create even more hypocrisy within Christianity. As long as you are living outwardly in a way that shows you love Jesus, you are a "Good Christian"... NO! Not at all! What makes me a Christian is my belief, intentional relationship, worship, praise, conviction, faith.. if I'm living a life of sin when no one is looking, I'm not living a life that Jesus calls us too. We too often preach this "fluffy" Gospel, that if you do certain things or think a certain way, say a Sinner's Prayer, you will recieve salvation and eternity... The Gospel is Truth, and the truth is the Gospel is convicting (or should be) to believers and offensive (or can be) to non-believers. We can't sugar-coat the gospel in order to create mass numbers of hypocritical believers, because that isn't glorifying to Christ. We can't assess people's faith with an arbitrary quiz of 10 questions that can easily be navigated to provide an "affirming" answer that we are all living as "Good Christians" by just reading into the questions and realizing what answers will get you there. In fact, I did that just now. I took the quiz a second time, answered a few question differently and was able to get the grade of "Spiritually Mature". The quiz is biased, and shaped to get you to answer certain ways. The questions are multiple choice, each of the 4 choices easily matches with one of the 4 grades. There's absolutely nothing scientific about this "assessment".

Brothers and Sisters, please don't misunderstand me... I understand the intent behind this quiz. I'm sure the creators thought they were doing people a favor! However, we will only face judgement from The Father, not from man! We can not assess our spiritual life or walk with Christ by any measure other than God's Word, the Truth, the Gospel! Please understand that the only way to truly live a life that Christ calls us to live is by following The Word and living the way Christ has called us to live. No quiz can compare to the the Gospel. Especially not one created by man. I don't recommend anyone take this quiz, therefore I refuse to link it to my blog. However, if you do decide to investigate this on your own... take it with a grain of salt, and do your best to not shape your responses to try and receive a "good grade". Most importantly, Christians, let's preach the Gospel in it's entirity. Let's show people the love of Christ, and also convict them by sharing The Truth about the way we are called to live. Let's not worry about the Gospel being offensive, let's focus on the fact that Truth is Truth.

End Rant.

Grace and Peace,



3 years in review..

It's been 17 days since I wrote my last post... and there's a reason for that.

The last 17 days I have spent reflecting on the last 3 years ago... because 3 years ago was an important day for me. On November 16th, 2009 I sat down at my computer and began typing, in very much the same way I am typing now. However, 3 years ago, I had no idea what I was going to write about. I just knew that God was moving, and I needed a place to write all of that down, so I could sort through it and hang on to it as well. The first post I ever wrote, was titled Passion and Purpose. That post was all about distinguishing between what you are passionate about and what your purpose is... and it's about the uncertaintiy of my future. Take a second (if you didn't read the whole thing) to look at this excerpt from that very first post...

"I felt that I knew what God was calling me to do, and that was the end of the story. Once again though, God has more to say, I just had to listen... I realize now that, no matter what, my studies matter... Not because I'm not going to become a missionary, or not because I'm going to work in a bank, but because I. Don't. Know. The. Answers. I have no idea if I'll become a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, or if I'm going to work as a bank teller, or grocery store manager, or be a stay at home parent. Only. He. Knows. And tonight it was God telling me that, just as it says in Colossians 3:17 "And whatever ever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him".. I don't know what I'll be doing in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, or 1 month.. I don't even know where I'll be this summer, but tonight I realized, it doesn't matter. I will go where I'm called, and do whatever it is God wants me to do, if merely to glorify Him.
My. Future. Is. Only. Known. By. Him."

Well, it's now 3 years later... and where I thought I'd be then, is not where I am now. I am thankful for that. God knew the plan all along, He led me back to the city that I grew up in, a place where I know more people than I care to some days, even though He knew my desire was to be elsewhere. God knew what He was doing, and it took me a few months after college to realize that. It's crazy to see the way God has completely transformed this blog, my relationships, my life, and my character since this journey began. I've been through heart ache, love, loss, pain, overwhelming joy, the birth of my niece and nephew, and many other things. In the last three years I have been in 16 different states, and 4 different countries. I have been involved in two very different Youth Ministries, I have worked in a restaurant, a green house, a bank, and now my current position, a global company. I graduated from college with a Bachelors degree, I have been in 3 weddings, and seen at least 16 friends get married. I got my own place, bought a new car, mended past friendships, and watch others fall to the wayside. I've laughed so hard I couldn't breath, and I've cried so long I had no tears left. However, through all the craziness, all the changes, all the distractions, all the "once-in-a-lifetime" moments... one thing has always remained constant.


Christ has been present through all of it. He has guided, provided and protected me through a crazy 3 years. I have been able to grow in Christ in ways that 3 years ago, I thought would never happen. He has completely transformed my life... and while that in no way means that I am no longer a sinner, it means that I am not defined by my sins, but rather my salvation. I am a prince in the Kingdom of God, I am a beloved child of God, and I am striving each day to be a man after God's own heart. If I had to pick one lesson, out of millions, that God has taught me in the last 3 years it would be: That I must put others before myself, but in that I also cannot lose sight of my own morals, values, or goals. I must love myself... even when I don't feel like I'm worthy of love. Christ died on the cross so that I could be set free from my sin, by accepting that truth into my heart, and living a life that is glorifying to Him. I don't succeed at that everday, but I'm getting better each and every step. Which makes me wonder... what will this look like on November 16, 2015...

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone that has been a part of this blog over the last 3 years. This morning I looked at the numbers... that very first post received 8 views on this site. 3/8 views were probably from my Mom. Granted I used to post these as "Facebook Notes" as well... but still. To see that I have gone from 8 views to an average of 35 views per post. That just absolutely blows my mind... Thank you for your support, for reading this blog, for the feedback: encouragement and criticism. Thank you for being a part of this journey... here's to the next 3, 5, even 10 years down the road. Today is a special day for this blogger-- and all the glory goes to God for giving me the words to write.

Grace and Peace