What do I mean? If you claim that all religions are equally valid and true, then you are excluding all religions that don’t affirm that.
. . .Just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone. . .Faith is one of the most abused instances of this. We decide that our religion is right; therefore, every other religion must be wrong.
Logically, this sentiment can’t be true—because all religions contradict each other at some point. And Christianity is, by nature, exclusive. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Religious Pluralism is a dogmatic religious belief—and it contradicts Christianity.
Lie #4: Judgment is bad
Every time you tell people to never judge, you are automatically committing the very misstep you’re railing against. Just by saying, “Don’t judge,” you are judging those who (by your standard) are being super judgmental. This is highlighted in a particularly shocking section of chapter one in which Hollis gives a hypothetical example.
She asks you to imagine a friend named Pam who has started several diets, only to fail two weeks in and gain back all the weight she lost. She writes,
Y’all, would you respect her? Would you count on Pam or the friend who keeps blowing you off for stupid reasons? Would you trust them when they committed to something? Would you believe them when they committed to you? No.
So, if you fail at a diet and gain your weight back, you can’t be trusted? I actually had to read that section three times just to be sure I wasn’t misunderstanding her. I wasn’t. Can you see how judgy this is for someone who has a zero tolerance policy for judgment on her Facebook page?
When giving practical advice on meeting new people and making friends, she advises that from the first handshake, “We pay attention to things like character and heart and wisdom and experience.” But how can anyone evaluate those things in another person without judging? I’m not pointing this out to criticize, but to illustrate why “not judging” is not only impossible, but to preach it is self-defeating. We all make judgments—and what’s important is that we judge rightly. Jesus said, “Judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)
Lie #5: Sin is not the problem.
This is the deepest and most pervasive lie that coils its way around the book like a python choking its prey. I saved it for last because it’s the bedrock of what all the other lies are built upon.
I can’t state this plainly enough. Sin is your enemy, and you absolutely cannot save yourself from it. You are not in control of that situation.
That may sound harsh, but it’s actually the best news ever. You see, you and I are sinners. We can’t get around it. Everything that’s broken in our lives is because of sin. Because God is just and perfect, He can’t tolerate sin or coexist with it. Sin must be paid for. There is no peace between God and sin. Justice must be done.
But this is where the good news comes in. God sent His Son Jesus to live a sinless life so that He could take the punishment of our sin on Himself. He paid for it. He took the punishment. Justice was done. If we put our faith in Him, we can be made right with God. That doesn’t mean we won’t still have our struggles, or that we’ll magically have the power to never sin again. It means we don’t have the same relationship with sin we had before. It means we’ve been declared “righteous,” which means we have peace with God. The Bible even takes a step further—it says that God “adopts” us into His family.
Adopted by God Himself? That means I am not a failure—even if I never lose the baby weight (my “baby” is seven—don’t judge). Even if I never successfully complete a diet. Even if I have a bad day and yell at my kids. Even if I never reach my financial goals or climb the ladder at my dream job. Even if my life consists of nothing more than living in quiet and humble service to God.
I’ll be honest. Reading this book exhausted me. It’s all about what I can be doing better and what I’m not doing good enough. How to be better at work, parenting, and writing. How to be less bad at cardio, sex, and you know, changing the world.
But knowing the good news of who I am in Christ brings true rest.
Rest from striving, my friend. Yes. Wash your face. Take care of yourself. Make good choices. But know who you are in Christ. If you let this truth become the foundation of how you see the world, you will be content to glorify Him in every situation, whether you’re cleaning bathrooms or relaxing at your beach house, changing diapers or crushing your career goals.
This post originally appeared at alisachilders.com, published with permission.