2016-12-20
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<p>The line between faith and fiction is less obvious than you might think.</p> <p>The Dallas Jenkins film, “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” explores the idea of a washed up celebrity pretending to be a faithful Christian so that he can portray Jesus in a church theatrical production. Although humorous, the film raises an important question—what, exactly, does real faith look like? And how would you know if yours wasn’t quite real?</p> <p>It’s easy to buy into simple, pop culture Christianity—there’s no shame in it. We’ve all been deceived every now and again. What matters, though, is what you do when you find out you’ve been living more fiction than faith.</p> <p>So take this quiz and find out if your faith, like what Gavin’s begins as, is all veneers and props, or if you’ve already got the real deal!</p>
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1

God will bless me with wealth, health and happiness if I choose to believe in Him.

This is a common misconception. God never promises His followers material gain—only spiritual rewards. There are plenty of examples of God blessing His followers with earthly things, but He never guarantees this for His followers. Rather, we're called to follow God, regardless of our circumstances.
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2

I can take scripture at face value, without worrying about human issues like historical context or translations.

Biblical interpretation is incredibly important—after all, the Bible has been translated multiple times, and each verse has a particular speaker, a particular audience, and a particular setting. Knowing what to take from a verse involves considering each of these aspects.
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3

I am a part of God.

This is a common new-age belief, but not a Christian one. God is omnipresent—everywhere at once—but is separate from His creation.
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4

I pray for God's will to be done, not my own.

Since we're not perfect beings, we should pray for God's perfect will to be done, even if God's will is different from ours. This is can be a difficult idea to accept, however.
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5

I regularly strive to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

This is true. These traits are the "fruits of the spirit"—traits that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 that Christians will display if they're doing their best to follow God's edicts. Though if you lack these from time to time, that's okay. No one is perfect! But the act of striving to have these traits is a mark of true faith.
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6

I find that love is more important than what scripture says.

This idea is popular, but not correct. God is love, but what God's love means isn't necessarily what our love means. If we say that our subjective, human ideal of love is more important than scripture, we're off the mark.
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7

I feel that regular church attendance is the most important aspect of my Christian life.

While regular church attendance is healthy for spiritual growth, it isn't the most important aspect of a Christians's life. The most important is the acceptance of Christ as savior, a part of which means modeling our behavior after His rather than continuing to live as we wish.
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8

I pray when things go well just as much as when they go wrong.

Real faith doesn't waver when things go well. Success is the true test of faith.
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Your result is:

Your faith is filled with set-pieces right now, but it doesn't have to stay that way!

Pop culture Christianity is easy. That's understandable. But it's time to take that next step and start really digging into what it means to be a person of faith.

Your mission?  Find a mentor and start learning! You'll need a guide for a while—someone like a pastor or youth group leader. Once you get on your feet, you can start delving into some real interpretation.

Remember—Christianity isn't easy. But God has given humankind a structure in which to live because He, above all others, knows what's best for us. The journey is well worth the effort.

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Your result is:

You're getting there! Your faith still has a few Hollywood props lying around in place of real knowledge, but the walls, the floors, and the foundation are all there.

Your mission? Start applying your faith to your life in an intentional way.

One of the easiest pits to fall into as a Christian is learning about God, and then setting that information aside until you return to church on Sunday.

Don't let yourself do that.

Rather, live out your faith, looking to Christ as the example of right action. Focus on making the fruits of the spirit, explained in Galatians, a purposeful part of your life. Translate faith into action, and you'll be ready for the next level.


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Your result is:

Congratulations. Your faith is authentic.

Your mission? Delve into scripture with the help of a concordance, and start paying attention to who is speaking in each verse, as well as to who is being spoken to, and why. Consider historical context, and find out what was happening in history at the time of that particular verse. Take your faith to the next level.

You'll find that as your understanding grows, all of those little, nagging Biblical inconsistencies and unanswered questions begin to be resolved. This will lead you to an incredibly important moment: your second faith, in which you don't merely happen upon Christianity, but have thoughtfully chosen it.

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