Many people eventually come to believe that Christianity doesn’t “work,” or at least not for them. Truth is… “it” doesn’t. Truth is… “He” does.
The life described in the Bible is not one of rule-keeping or heartless morality or lifeless formulas. This is why trying to live “it” doesn’t work for you. See, Christianity is a relationship with the one whose name is in it. That’s why I say “it” doesn’t work but “he” does. God works. God gives life. God restores life. God transforms life. God gives meaning to life. Life without God is empty and pointless. Religion has no power to fill the emptiness, endow life with purpose, or change a single thing that you would like changed.
But if you think “work” means getting God’s help with your plans, that won’t work either. Many people think that Christianity is about manipulating God to do and bless what we want to do and want to be blessed. That just will not work. Relationships never last when we are in them for what we can get out of them. People don’t like to be used. Most people know when they are being taken advantage of, or eventually, figure it out. Besides, you don’t want a God that can be manipulated. That would be a very tiny (non) god indeed. We need a God who loves us so deeply that his mighty power and presence is for us, on our side, and not against us. Even when he has to correct us. A relationship with God only works when we go about it his way. Why? Because he made us and knows how to fill our heart with love and acceptance and our life with significance and adventure. This is where an understanding of Christianity begins.
When it comes to The Center, there is a lot and a little that could be said about how we view Christianity and how deeply integrated is in what we do. The “short of it” has already been stated. Historic Christianity, the Bible, and the life and example of Jesus Christ, informs everything at The Center. We use psychology to inform our faith—to assist and augment it—but not to reprogram or dictate to it. We set all our work on the solid foundation of God’s truth and love, expressed by Jesus Christ, and recorded in the Biblical narrative. If there is a conflict between secular therapy and Biblical Christianity, we side with the latter. Note that I didn’t say we side this or that brand of the church.
Now for the “Long of It!”
I’ve unpacked the gospel story (highlighting the relational aspects) and how we operate as a practice within that story below for those who are interested. You can read as far as you like.
I include two things below:
- First, I have summarized the Biblical story in 60 bullet statements. That means the entire gospel message, the unfolding drama of redemption as I have heard it called, is included. The whole Biblical story from Creation to eternity is covered. The “gospel” (good news) is from beginning to end built around humanity in a relationship with our Creator. See this from a broader perspective gives helpful and needed context to put the wonderful story of Jesus Christ into.
- Second, after that you will find six statements with bulleted support explaining how we functionally integrate the two, 1) psychology, secular therapy, and our culture, 2) with Christianity.
How We Integrate Culture & Christianity