Christian identity theft & the conformity prison 

Brian Worley

No, no, my intention here isn’t to discuss someone taking your personal information and using that information for their profit. Rather, the intention is to examine what acceptance of Christianity means and its ramifications upon life and ones lifestyle .  

Charles Sheldon wrote a book that went on to be a classic in the Christian world entitled “In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?” Having read that book early on in my past Christian life, I look back and think of its message. The gist of the book is that you (as a Christian) look upon everything that you are thinking or about to do, and ask the question of the book’s title. What would Jesus do if he were currently in your situation? If one is sincere in their faith and proceeds to live by this mantra, this would confirm that ones own individual identity has already been surrendered to Jesus. The transaction was so smooth that hardly anyone noticed the heist! The acceptance of Christianity would be an ethical, legitimate free will choice if only it were entered into with full factual disclosure and without the employment of extortion. This ex-minister contends that Christian folks have been sold a “bill of goods” and issues a caveat emptor for those considering the faith! 

When a man accepts Christianity, although he keeps his name, he begins to be identified as a Christian. At church, John Smith, begins to be referred to as “brother John” by people who have no common blood relationship. The power of this identity transaction is evident when a man can leave a federal penitentiary with real steel bars into another prison without any (church) and within a relative short period of time be given a position of trust. 

Everyone is unique from the moment of birth onward. Usually, one is given a name and identification numbers and the child’s personality and development are “off and running” in no time it seems. That same John Smith from birth will chart his own course in life once he is given reigns (departure from the “parental nest”). But one should be careful not to so easily squander their freedom to pirates waiting in the wings. 

When one accepts Christianity, they are not fully living their life anymore. They accept Christ as their Master and per their original agreement with Christ they conform to his will! Take my life for example; growing up I wanted to become an architect. To make a long story short, my architectural plans were uprooted once I felt God wanted me to be a minister. Yet, this whole time I was in full control of my choices and had the right of self-determination for my career destination. At the time, I was a willingly complicit slave to this, but only because I thought Christianity was true!   

Acting school, imitating another (Christ) is what your script reads

One gets plugged into an acting role when they accept Christianity. Although you are still John Smith, you are John Smith with the identity of being John Smith the Christian. Your life unfolds as Christ wants it or you are embroiled in inner turmoil for non-conformity to the mold of Christ. What a struggle this becomes that eventually leads to guilt! The pressure is to act like Christ wants you to act. Conformity leads to the peace that Christians speak of, but what a price one pays for this peace! People often trade freedom for peace, sound familiar? The result is usually you get neither! 

I say one becomes an actor (imitating another) because they are not playing out their natural roles in life, but a hybrid mix of their own and Christ’s as a Christian. In Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”, Laurence Olivier wasn’t Heathcliff, be just played the fictional role of Heathcliff (he was an actor portraying a role in a movie). Christian individuals do the same with the fictional character of Christ, they are acting out Christ’s life with varying measures of success. The difference being that the professional actor’s role ends with the completion of the movie, but the Christian’s role continues on unabated for a lifetime! If John Smith abandons his Christianity, he can return to the pursuit of his wishes for his own life, minus the complexity of the burden of the Christian acting role. Unless you have been there, this is an invigorating experience that begs to be experienced! 

Being stuck in a role that you don’t want to play is dreadful. If someone calls the Christian a hypocrite, chances are that the Christian feels trapped in a role that they are not enjoying playing. Meanwhile, folks around these uncomfortable Christians have to deal with all the uncertainty and inconveniences of a man that is unsure of who he really is. Is John Smith a Christian, a pretender (hypocrite or a bad actor) or stuck in a role that he cannot legitimately play?  Perhaps John would be much happier without the charade? 

Are you stuck in a role that you do not want to be playing? Do the world a favor and those around you by simply dropping the role! You can rightfully feel justified in so doing by ascertaining the truths (as I have documented on this website) to be armed with enough facts to have intellectual reason to abandon your faith. The case against faith is based upon facts; it is not based on feelings (which is the foundation of faith). All one needs is to be willing to read and the ability to reason. If one simply does these, you can get your life back! The intellectual part is the easier aspect of the equation. 

What I found be the most difficult was the unfolding realization that emotionally many Christian’s whom you thought cared for you were simply acting as if they cared about you! The reality is that it was you that stroked their Christian ego; once you cease to do this they may decide that they do not need you around any longer! If they are a quality person, they will probably be hurt but will still care for you. If not, then you know that it is time for you to just move on! What is the old saying, “If you love something, set it free... If it comes back, it’s yours, If it doesn’t, it never was yours…   It’s possible to have peace in prison if it weren’t for the knowledge of the freedom outside of those bars.


            Brian Worley     April 4, 2009      All rights reserved.

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