You Don’t Have to Live Like a Nun or Monk to be a True Christian

Far too many people, especially young people, are being turned off by Christianity because too many preachers are making it seem like they have to live like a nun or monk to be a true Christian.  Before you listen to what a preacher has to say about how to live a true Christian life, begin to read your bible for yourself.  There are a number of translations of the bible available for you—pick the translation or translations that work for you.  Don’t simply read your bible but study it.  Purchase biblical study aids that will enrich your study and give you deeper understandings of God’s word.  Read and study your bible for yourself!

Now, I’m not suggesting at all that you should not go to church and listen to the teaching and preaching of a man of God.  You should go to church and listen to the teaching and preaching of a man of God to accompany your reading and studying of the bible.  Just don’t let the teaching and preaching the man of God does be your only engagement with the bible.  In fact, God commands each person to study His word to “show thyself approved.”

Many young people feel like being a true Christian is simply too difficult because preachers make it seem almost like they cannot do anything, especially anything that’s fun.  I want to let young people know that you can have fun and still be a true Christian.  Of course, there are clear things that the bible point out that you cannot do, but there is so much more that you can do while you enjoy a personal relationship with God.

Although many preachers believe that it’s a sin to listen to non-Gospel music, such as rap and pop music, I want you to challenge them to give you some substantive teaching about how this is a sin.  Don’t simply let them rap one, two, or three scriptures to you—challenge them to give you some true and deep biblical teaching about this subject.  What you will discover is they will not be able to offer you much bible-based teaching about this subject.  However, I want you to be on high alert for them to attempt to present their personal opinions and preferences as if they are grounded in the scriptures and biblical principles.  You don’t want to be living your life based on someone’s opinions—live your life based on what God’s word truly says.  Don’t let preachers shame you out of listening to non-Gospel music by telling you that non-Gospel music is “the Devil’s music.”  “The Devil’s music”?  Really?  Some Gospel songs can be far more depressing and damaging than many non-Gospel songs.

When preachers tell you that you cannot go to the movies, I want you to challenge them on this subject in the same way I have discussed about challenging them on their opposition to you listening to non-Gospel music.  You can be a true Christian and go to the movies.

Now, if you do want to be a nun or monk, I applaud you for wanting to live a life of this type.  However, for those who don’t want to be a nun or monk, I want you to know that you can live a victorious and saved life in this present world and have tons of fun!  You don’t have to be a “bible thumper” to go to Heaven and you don’t have to talk about God every second in order to make it into Heaven.

Don’t miss out on the full life that you can be living simply because you failed to read and study your bible and only listened to what your pastor had to say about the bible.  At the end of the day, your pastors are men of God but they are still human beings, and, as we all know, all human beings are not perfect and do make mistakes.  Being a Christian means that you are a personal follower of Christ.  Your pastor cannot live your walk with God for you—you have to live your walk with Christ for yourself.

In no way should this article be perceived as an attack on any preacher, but it’s more of a call for people to realize that they need to experience God for themselves, and one of the most intimate and meaningful ways to experience God for yourself is to read and study His word for yourself.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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10 comments

  1. I think the thing about Christianity I explore is my own spiritual race. Too many times we give the preacher all the power. He’s human. He’s just a vessel and guidance; not the be all. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only Christian when I meet people. A lot of people don’t go to church, pray or even believe in God. It makes me sad but just share my testimony and never change myself around them. Christianity has just become an easy target.

    1. Yes, we give preachers far too much power, especially when we expect them to be the only source of how to live a true bible-based Christian walk with God. More people need to understand that living a true Christian life is a personal undertaking. It is deeply regrettable that many people don’t give Jesus a place in their life and heart, but we should still be there to encourage them, witness to them, and offer Christ to them. Thanks for reading and your response, Drew!

  2. I agree with you bruh! Even though I a not a religious brotha I have never subscribed to people wanting to Putirian in their waves to prove their loyalty or belief in Christianity. I have always thought you can be a normal person and just steady working towards innovation to being a better person

  3. If we ever saw how those in the pulpit really live as opposed to how they portray themselves, we might get somewhere. Regardless of the religion, there is not a man, woman, or child who has not fallen short of their religious beliefs. Many of the beliefs that they have are based in fiction and not actual Biblical fact (or other religious reference material).

    I agree that you should challenge the teacher. The teacher should accept and embrace the challenge.

    I hope a lot of people read and learn something from this one. You better know your God for yourself; whoever you think that may be. People will have you falling short.

  4. I just want to start off and say that I applaud you for this piece. You hit the hammer on the nail with this is one. I love it from Beginning to the End. To be honest, Alot of pastors don’t understand that they push away tons of people when they do that. They fail to understand its your OWN way of having a relationship with GOD. Because even though I am a Christian Jr Deacon, I still believe in the Holy Qur’an because its still GOD. There is only ONE GOD but he had alot of Prophets and teachers to bring people to him. I just want people to really understand 2Tim 2:15 Study to SHOW Thy(YOU) self approved to No one but GOD!!

  5. Just look at the case of Bishop Long who is this self-proclaimed righteous man who was preaching against homosexuality, but was accused of having relationships with young men. We give preachers way too much leeway in thinking they can do no wrong, and follow their words to a tee. At the end of the day, they are human just like me and you. While some Christians decide to follow their Pastor’s words and live in a bubble, they are missing out on some great things that life has in store. Don’t worship man, worship his creator and like you stated reading and studying the bible is the key. Excellent piece as usual Antonio.

    1. Thank you! Yes, Bishop Long shows us exactly why we have to study the bible on our own. Some preachers can really lead people in the wrong direction. However, if people have a true commitment to studying their bible on their own, then their preachers will only enhance their walk with God and not hinder it. Thanks for reading and your response!

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