“Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought.”
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Why do I try to be Good? Why do Christians strive to do right? Why do Christians seek righteousness?
I could not agree more with this quote from Dawkins. A Christian whose only reason to be good, is to gain God’s approval or try to escape punishment is a self centered being with fear only for their own soul. The irony is that this is where many Christians begin their relationship with Christ. Christ can use the self centered sinful inclination of man to bring them to him. Once a man chooses the path of Christ, revelation is bound to happen. The mental acknowledgement of the truth of the gospel brings man into a loving relationship with his creator. Now instead of serving to gain “stuff” in heaven you serve because you are in a loving relationship with God. A Christ followers motive may begin out of a selfish want for unholy things. But as the relationship deepens, the Christian learns from both the word and experience that the good he does comes from Christ himself and not from his own ability. Any person that enters the Kingdom of Heaven out of want for material possessions will be sorely disappointed as it will be the least of the concerns of all the inhabitants. Surely there will be no disappointed people in God’s kingdom for these material loving people will not exist there. The reward/storing up riches in heaven is not for material possessions but is an increase in an immaterial foundational relationship. Are there golden roads and great mansions waiting for those who trust in the lord or are these biblical scriptures on heaven metaphors for something greater. I do not know and to be honest don’t care because in the end those things, material things, if real, will be of little importance in comparison to our fully restored being and connection to our father. Everything else is meaningless in comparison. Dawkins has a skewed view of God. His words are poison. His mind is fallen. His anti-theism is to simple.
“That is why the Christian is in a different position from people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or-if they think there is not at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.” C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)