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Faith

D.C. Collier: Like Bitcoin Currency, World of Crypto-Religions Fraught with Peril

Unless you’ve been living in a mushroom cave these past few years, you’ve witnessed the spectacular emergence of cryptocurrency. For those of you, like me, who have trouble grasping what this new medium of exchange really is ... well, it’s like money ... sort of.

But this strange virtual currency has stirred much controversy among experts about its economic viability.

For instance, Warren Buffett says:

“You can’t value Bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”

He added that there’s no telling how far Bitcoin’s price will go, and described it as a “real bubble in that sort of thing.”

In other words, for Bitcoin and its many crypto-brethren, there is no underlying asset. Its value is based purely on speculation and the willingness of the more courageous investors to trade in the cryptocurrency market.

But beware: No one wants to fall victim to the “Greater Fool Theory” of Wall Street.

So, what’s this got to do with Christianity, you ask?

The World of Crypto-Religions

According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. Worldwide, more than 8-in-10 people identify with a religious group.1

So, which ones are “true,” and which ones are not? Some say “they’re all true, they all lead to the same place.”

But such thinking flies in the face of the Law of Noncontradiction, which says, if all 4,200 religions are mutually exclusive (each one claims to be true and the others are false), then only two possibilities exist: Either (1) they are all false, or (2) one is true, and the rest are false.

So how would we sort out the true religion from the horde of other claimants?

But first, why do religions exist in the first place? What “problem” do they claim to “solve” for their adherents?

If all you want is something to do on Sunday mornings, or to find a belief system that makes you feel better about yourself, then “pick your poison” from among the 4,200 candidates.

But if you are concerned about a much bigger problem — one that affects your eternal destiny — then you need to be much more selective in your search.

Here is why Christianity has been so successful for so long ... it offers a real solution for a real problem:

The Problem

The Bible tells us that a huge spiritual “bill” has been “run up” by every person who has ever lived. Basically, we are born sinners.

Some say that we only become sinners when we commit sin, but that’s backward. We sin because we’re sinners ... by nature ... made so when we inherited our spiritual DNA from our parents, which they got from their parents, all the way back to Adam and Eve.

Consider: Have you ever had to teach your children to lie, hit their siblings or raid the cookie jar when told not to? No. You had to teach them not to do those things — it’s a nature thing.

Paul’s Epistle to the Romans concludes:

“There’s nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.”2

The Consequences

Unfortunately, the result of committing sin — even just one — is consequential and eternal, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”3

Furthermore, scripture compares sinning throughout a lifetime to “working” at a job, and then being “paid” in the form of spiritual death:

“As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end ... Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death.”4

God’s Solution

Fortunately, God knew in advance that Adam and Eve, and all who followed would break faith with Him and incur sin’s lethal effects. So, before He created the first man, God had already provided the remedy that would restore mankind’s relationship with Him — proactively:

“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately — at the end of the ages — become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.”5

Underlying Assets

Unlike “Bitcoin religions,” Christianity is built upon a totally unique underlying asset that eternally guarantees eternal life to anyone coming to Christ in faith:

“... Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”6

Christianity’s underlying asset is no less than the blood of Christ, God’s Son. No other religion can claim that distinction. It provides the only “tradable currency” in heaven, the blood of a divine innocent substitute, with sufficient intrinsic value to settle mankind’s accumulated guilt since time began:

Pointing to Realities of Heaven

“But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s ‘tent’ — the true Holy Place — once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.”7

How About You?

If Christ’s sacrifice was good enough for God, why would you settle for anything less? Why attempt to scale the walls of heaven on your own merit when you can place a God-ordained substitute between yourself and the consequences of your sin?

Want to receive immediate relief from guilt, have peace with God, a clear conscience and a renewed spirit? It’s yours for the asking.

D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

1. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84 percent of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

2. Romans 3:9-20 The Message (MSG)

3. James 2:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4. Romans 6:2-21;23 (MSG)

5. 1 Peter 1:20-21 (MSG)

6. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NASB)

7. 1 Corinthians 15:45-50 The Message (MSG)

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