NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS. Its time! Self-help Guru’s, 10 Steps to Success, Lose Weight Now, Be a Better You, You Can if You believe You Can Positive Thinking. Expect to see it all as you contemplate a New Years resolution or two. Expect to see the religious scam-artists out in full force. They have a new god (couched as Christian) to introduce and boy are they excited.
#1-Be your own Religion
Joel and Victoria Osteen
In other words, Be a better person. Or, do more good deeds, or try harder. When you do more good, you become better as a person. You are worthier in and of yourself because of your positive attitude and work. Others will like you and boast of your excellent character. You will be “successful” if you buy their new book and follow the easy 10 step process. (“Success” for these two = $40 million) Yet, deep inside you know that you still do not measure up and this will take you around to next year’s resolution that looks and smells just like this one.
#2-Buy Your Religion
All one must do is watch religious TV to discover that the Jesus Lottery (some call it “Seed-Faith”, or health-wealth-prosperity-preaching) is alive and well. The Crook-preacher wants “Seed-Faith”. (money) There will always be a fake version of the real and there will always be legal prey to keep fakery buffoons alive and well-off. These people and their preachers serve one another. They deserve one another. They also support the hair-dye and make-up industries quite well. All very sad indeed.
#3-Stay away from Religion
In other words, try to do #1 without becoming your own god. You define what is good and moral, not a church or a book. Use #1 and #2 as definition for Christians and Christianity. Watch your world become chaotic as multitudinous definitions of morality vie for truth and internal conflict stubbornly remains. #4 is a moot point for an astute, rational atheist. Sweaters and pipe smoking are optional but they do help one to appear “smarter than the average bear”.
#4-Trade in Your Religion
Religion is essentially mankind’s best effort at being good enough to pacify a perceived god who delights in good behavior. All religions have as their core tenant this idea of “being good enough” by your own efforts. If you add a belief that such efforts are prerequisite to heaven when you die, well—well, expect to see some very hard workers, to the point of fanaticism. In the case of Islam and Sharia, expect to see the ugly side of pompous religiosity.
The radical teaching of Jesus is that you must never try to be good enough on your own, because that would include ignoring the reality that His death provided for all the goodness we will ever need. He makes us acceptable to God, not our feeble attempts at moral, rational and self-righteousness. He, not joining a church, giving money or saying a prayer, is the one source for knowing God and being saved by Him.
“If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the law, (being a goody-goody) it was useless for Christ to die.” Galatians 2:21
Take the great “I AM” at His word.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. John 10:9
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens,
come to me and I will give you rest.
Take the yoke I give you.
Put it on your shoulders and learn from me.
I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.
This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.”