Doing “good” Things for Jesus, Doesn’t Make You a Good Person

The Divine Has No Place in Morality or Good Deeds

Today’s Christian Post features an article by Nick Vujicic titled “The Power of Being Unstoppable in Christ”.  The issue I have with his article is that he got everything he wrote, not only wrong, but completely backwards.

Vujicic writes:

“Here is the difference between hope with Jesus and hope without Jesus. Hope without Jesus is waiting for your position or circumstance to change. To be waiting and hoping that someday things aren’t how they are now. There is nothing wrong with waiting for a miracle, but some miracles don’t always come.”

In all honestly I can’t really think of way that he could have been more wrong in that paragraph.  Mr. Vujicic, let me explain something to you.  Those of us without Jesus in our lives are not sitting around waiting for miracles.  We are out trying to fix our problems, our lives, and those of the people around us.  We care about social justice issues, the economy, health care, and a whole host of other things.  Not only do we care about these things, we work to change them.  In fact, the only thing that we do NOT EVER do, is sit around and “wait for a miracle”.  We do not believe in miracles and recognize fully, that we must affect the change we wish to see.

To make matters worse, it is people with Jesus in their lives who are much more apt to sit around waiting for a miracle.  They will be praying, people like will be acting.  Want proof?  Just do a Google search for the last child who died while his parents were praying instead of seeing a doctor…I think it was yesterday by the way…then tell me who is “waiting for a miracle” and who is out seeking to change our position and circumstances.

Vujicic’s next statement is one of the most ignorant and offensive things one can say to an atheist.  No it is “not you’re going to hell”…that is just nonsense.  Instead he writes, “Life without Jesus is a life without purpose”.  What pure indoctrinated rubbish that statement is.  Statement like that reflect a gross lack of understanding of reality or other people’s views.  Vujicic seems confused and implies that people without Jesus may do some great things, but that the purpose of those actions is recognition from others.  How shallow a person must Vujicic be if he thinks that is the only reason or purpose to do “good things” for a nonbeliever?  The answer is incredibly unthinking and unworldly.  In fact, Vujicic is stuck on this point for one reason, and this is an important thing, it is the reason why Christianity can never be a source of morality.  Vujicic cares not what his fellow humans think of his actions…he is doing them to please god.  He derides doing things solely for human recognition (which I agree with) and only seeks to substitute the word “god” for “human”.  This is not morality, this is not purpose, it is “training” of the same nature that my dog has to want to make my happy.  It is mental slavery.

Vujicic has things backwards yet again.  A life focused on Jesus and god is a life without a meaningful purpose.  In fact, it is a waste of time.  Why dedicate your entire life to a being for which there is no evidence?  However, let’s assume that this deity does exist…What kind of god would want humans to act morally and do positive things for others only to please him and then punish those who fail to accomplish these things?  A prideful tyrant…I’ll pass on worshipping that idea.  Further, you are wasting your time, your life, and missing out on the true purpose in this world if you are only concerned with doing things to get in god’s good graces.

What is the purpose of a life without Jesus?  That question could have an answer long enough to fill a book.  Here is a short list.  One purpose of my life is to make the lives of other human beings better.  I have never looked for any recognition for any of the charity work or contributions that I have made.  Not once, nor will I.  Another purpose of my life is to leave this planet in good shape for future generations.  This is the only planet we have, I am quite concerned that do not ruin it.  I strive every day to make my clients better at what they do.  I strive to help them grow into the people that they want to be.  Every single day, my life has purpose…some of them are small, like doing what I can to ensure my wife has a good day.  Some of the things I do are local, like helping to clean a park so that the community can better enjoy it.  Some things that I do are national or global, like donating to causes that I care about.  I do not do any of these things for recognition.  I could care less what other’s think of me—I do what I think is right because it is the right thing to do—not to please others, be they human or divine.  That is a life worth living for, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Vujicic states that the pinnacle of achievement for him would be to meet god face to face at death and hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.  I’ll be no one’s servant and settle for something a bit different.  The greatest pinnacle of my life would be leaving this planet in better shape than it is now.  If I can be a part of the movements for social justice and equality for all, if I can be a part of the movement to combat global warming, if I can be a part of the movement to educate people and eradicate poverty, and if progress is made in these areas, then I can be fulfilled.  I won’t need a pat on the back from any human or deity.  I will know that I did something good. I will know that I helped ease people’s suffering.  I will know that I worked to make the world a better place.  That is good enough for me.  What’s more, if this deity exists (which is absurd, but bear with me), and I have worked towards all of these things, wants to punish me for doubting his existence, then I will gladly take my spot in (nonexistent) Hell.  Any version of “heaven” that deity of that nature—who is that ego needy and immoral–could conceive is surely not a place I would want to be.

Vujicic closes by saying that it is his belief in Jesus that drives him to do the good works that he does.  Then let me be the first to say this:  Any of you who do the same work, the same good deeds, without a hope for eternal reward or fear of punishment, without seeking recognition from your fellow humans,  you are a better and more moral person than what Vujicic describes–by far.

So if “Doing “good” Things for Jesus, Doesn’t Make You a Good Person”, as the title of this posts suggests?  What does?  Doing them because they are the right, good, and moral things to do—especially when no one (human or divine) knows you did them.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

—-John

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10 thoughts on “Doing “good” Things for Jesus, Doesn’t Make You a Good Person

  1. Recovering Agnostic from Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

    I used to have a pastor who was responsible for lots of good works, but told me that the same acts somehow didn't work the same way, or didn't have the same power as when it was done "In the name of Jesus". Even then, I couldn't get my head around that. But if it encourages people to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and so on, I can live with it.

    But I think the trouble is that this shows a lack of imagination and a desire to make a virtue of necessity – "This is what I believe, so it must be good." It's much like the Christian trope that if they didn't believe in God, they'd have no reason to be good, or they'd constantly be murdering and raping, or some variation of that.

    Reply
    1. troubleshooter125 from Bedford, OH, United States

      Try this on for size, RA:

      In "The Last Battle," the last book of C. S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles, he tells the story of Emeth, seventh son of Harpa Tarkaan of Calormen. The Calormenes were people who worshipped "Tash," a warlike god, rather than Aslan, the Lion of Narnia, whom they were taught to despise. Yet when he was faced with Aslan in the Narnia within Narnia, he was accepted by Aslan for the quality of his attitude and actions.

      If C. S. Lewis can be that generous (and he was a pretty committed christian), why can't your pastor, RA … and too many others? Maybe not quite a rhetorical question, but still worth asking – and worth noting – I'd like to think the average atheist would have accepted Emeth on the same basis Aslan did, only without the attendant religiosity.

      Reply
  2. hausdorff from Oak Park, MI, United States

    "Any of you who do the same work, the same good deeds, without a hope for eternal reward or fear of punishment, without seeking recognition from your fellow humans, you are a better and more moral person than what Vujicic describes–by far."

    This!

    I've been seeing these morality arguments more and more lately and it bugs the crap out of me. This is a nice snappy way to respond I think.

    Reply

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