Christianity is ‘a religion for losers’

April 1stToday’s guest writer is the Revd. Canon J. John.

J John is an internationally recognised Christian speaker and author. He has written over 50 books and spoken in 69 countries, teaching the Christian faith and addressing over 300,000 people in person each year. His series Just 10 (on the Ten Commandments) has now exceeded one million people in attendance.Canon J John

You can find out more about J John and his work through his Philo Trust website and also follow him on Twitter.

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When it comes to April Fools’ Day, human ingenuity seems to know no limits. Let me list a few of my favourite hoaxes and pranks from April the 1st:

  • The full-page advertisement by Burger King announcing the arrival of the Left-Handed Whopper burger, ‘especially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans’.
  • The statement that the next pope-mobile would be pulled by a donkey.
  • The announcement from Virgin Atlantic that they would launch an Airbus with a transparent viewing strip on the bottom so that passengers could look straight down onto clouds.
  • The New Zealand DJ who warned listeners that a mile-wide wasp swarm was headed towards Auckland. (A good number took his advice to defend themselves by leaving home wearing their socks over their trousers.)
  • The official US Military statement announcing a new program in which trained cats would work alongside soldiers on the front line.
  • And finally, one that would trouble anyone like myself, who is a Greek speaker. The confident declaration that, as a condition of the EU rescue plan for the troubled Greek economy, the Greeks were going to have to abandon their ancient alphabet and use the same Latin characters as everyone else!

Such hoaxes are so widespread, that come the 1st of April, we find ourselves on guard; checking our email, twitter or Instagram with suspicion. No one likes to be made a fool of.

I like April Fools’ Day tricks, not simply because these pranks bring genuine amusement, but for a far deeper reason: they puncture pomposity and deflate those who are inflated with pride.

A particular concern of mine is the way in which pride gives people immunity against Christianity. To become a Christian is to admit that you have failed morally and that the only thing that can save you is Jesus Christ. Authentic Christianity is a faith for those who know that they are bankrupt before God. We need to be humbled to become a Christian. The sneer is that Christianity is ‘a religion for losers’; the correct response to that allegation is, ‘Exactly!’

Many people refuse to even consider Christianity because in their pride, they consider that it is foolish. To pray to God, to trust in Jesus, to believe the Bible, to stand up for good regardless of what other people think – this for them is the height of foolishness. In a way they are right. By the standards of this world, to be a Christian is to be a fool. Yet I believe that we must all be called a fool in one place or another. In the Bible we read these words; ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”’ (Psalm 14:1). In the Bible, to be a ‘fool’ is not to be intellectually stupid; it is to be someone who wilfully ignores God. The Bible is saying that God’s verdict on someone who does not believe in him is that they are a ‘fool’. We must, it seems be considered fools either by God or by our fellow human beings.

It’s infinitely better to be considered a fool in this life by human beings than to be considered a fool eternally by God. So if this April the 1st you are humbled by some hoax, then be glad; it’s probably good for you. And if you are considered a fool for Christ, then be happy!



Categories: Bible, Faith in society

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17 replies

  1. Christianity is a religion for losers and fools and hypocrites and sick people,and odd people and sinners etc. Thank God!

  2. And it’s for the pompously proud too! (As was I – how could a college boy half my age imply my experience of the occult was simply wrong! So glad I was put right in the night by his Boss 🙂

  3. foolish indeed..while having serpent-like wisdom and being dovish at the same time. A real trick.

    Jesus did it brilliantly.

    Great article

  4. would you say pride is worse today than it was 50 years ago? why?

  5. I don’t reject Christianity out of pride. I reject Christianity because it is a religion,and offers me nothing. For the same reason, I reject Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism etc etc. If that makes me a fool, so be it.

    • I bet if you put the sticking point of doctrine aside for a moment you would discover that it does offer you something. Nobody walks into an art gallery and demands that aesthetic experience be “explained away” in scientific terms.

  6. No, it has nothing to offerr me. If I walk into an art gallery, I see art. When I look for gods, I see nothing.

    • I also wonder whether the belief in the source of all true love, mercy, forgiveness, beauty, kindness, eternal life, survival, healing and care has anything to offer me.

      • Nick – do you mean the source of true hatred, cruelty, vengeance, ugliness, selfishness, death, disease and war? Your deity would be all of your list and mine.

      • Not really Dave, I mean the source of all true freedom. The list you describe could be ascribed to the devil (the violent git). And it’s intellectually insulting to say that there is no God or devil.

    • Nick – firstly, either God is all powerful and therefore responsible for evil or the devil even existing, or he is not all powerful.

      Secondly, I do not claim that there are no gods or no devils. I claim that as there is no evidence for the existence of gods or devils, I have no reason to believe in them.

      Thirdly, you call the devil the violent git, yet it was God, for example, who supposedly drowned 99.99% of all life on Earth.

      • Am I supposed to defend the character of God? This is basic stuff Dave – God created the devil. God is in the image of Christ. Christ was non-violent. Christ was benevolent and that means that God is benevolent because Christ is God. The only accusation that can be made against God is that he is negligent because he allows so much bad stuff to happen to us. But he doesn’t actively cause that bad stuff, he simply allows it. As he is benevolent he is kind to those of us who blame him for these events. This is really basic.

  7. Nick – are you supposed to defend the character of God? That’s up to you, and may depend on how much you care. But if you choose to do so, let’s start with benevolence, as you’ve already brought it to the table.

    I could bring up many examples from the Old Testament, and several from the New Testament, where God is far from benevolent. Can you give me examples from the Old Testament where God shows his benevolent streak, where he displays kindness, forgiveness, charity, empathy or sympathy?

    • Well, ‘the table’ is a little small and there is no room for debate here. But I’ll leave you with one question: ‘What is so controversial about saying that God is loving and kind and that the devil is a violent git?’

      • I would have thought the table is plenty large enough, but as I say, your choice. And I think it is controversial because Christians expect us to just accept that these things are true without providing the evidence to back it up.

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