|Jesus was dying for you to make partner|
- Don't have any doubts. To have a "dark night of the soul" and struggle with your faith as Blessed Mother Teresa did for 50 years is a scandal and shows a lack of fidelity.
- Don't question your leaders. Whether priest or minister, these leaders of the faith are appointed as godly men (yes - men! God has given different faculties to different genders. It's about playing to your strengths). Being completely uncritical is the best way to ensure a conflict-free community.
- You either give your authority to the community or you keep it all for yourself. Trying to find a balance among Scripture, Tradition, and your own experience is a risky business. Faith shouldn't require risk.
- God teaches you only through the good things! Pain, suffering, relapse, wounds, and all forms of "dying" are best left to the saints; it's a happy life of blessings for the rest of us! Count all the happy things as what God wants for you and just chalk up all the painful things as giant intermissions in God's predestined plan. They couldn't possibly be the things that teach you most.
- Beware of anything that claims to be Truth but isn't found in the Bible. If it seems true, if it appears to speak wisdom and resonates with your soul but it has the wrong label, look out! If you study any other religion or belief system for reasons other than to dutifully convert their adherents, you're playing with fire.
- Speaking of, "ecumenical" is just another name for "unfaithful." If other Christians don't see things the same way as you, it's best not to give an inch. Tolerate them, of course, but eventually through a lack of approval, freedom, and a space for dialogue, they'll see the beacon of truth that you are and most likely convert.
- Have only nonnegotiable truths. Once you've found the truth, why would you ever need to change your mind? You wouldn't. Your understanding at age 8 will be the same as at age 18 which will be the same at age 78! That's how spiritual growth works. The belief that your faith could evolve or change or take on a new perspective is a very dangerous one. Just remember, if Jesus himself appeared to you and told you something different than your pastor, you would just have to rebuke him in Jesus' name!
- Sundays should be regarded as a floating personal day. While a moderate view that it may occasionally be okay to miss church given certain circumstances is too strict, it does touch on something true: you are not obligated to your church community! After all, showing up to church is primarily about you and what you'll get out of it. Communing with god in nature or giving yourself instruction is a perfectly good substitute.
- Remember, if Jesus were on earth right now, he would probably look, act, and think the exact same way as people in your own ethnic, gender, and socio-economic group.
- If you're the CEO of a successful nonprofit like Intervaristy, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Catholic Charities USA, Young Life, or Samaritan's Purse, then know that it's perfectly acceptable for you to make up to $700,00 a year. Yes, it's difficult for a rich man to find the Kingdom of Heaven but by that point you're probably such a good Christian that you can manage just fine.
- Read the Bible literally and only literally. Deeper meaning can be complex and confusing.
- Be a soldier for Jesus! Soldiers are much more respected than servants, and they don't have to take you-know-what from anyone.
- Count on the government and politics for promoting the gospel. Converting people through our very lives is a long and, quite frankly, arduous process. Enshrining our religion in our government and classrooms through whatever means possible is a much simpler method. People can easily learn Love through mandates. It helps to have the national flag in your worship space.
- Don't see yourself as God sees you. That's a privilege just for Him. Be sure to beat yourself up over even the smallest sins and constantly dwell on your totally depraved state. Contrition isn't enough - you should believe that you really are worthless.
- Hold dear that the gospel was meant to be exclusive and not inclusive! And you should believe most people who say, "What Jesus really meant was..."
When Christian Doctrine Fails Us