So, raise your hand if you clicked on the link because the title made you wonder if I am done with Christianity and moving to animism or something like that? (Go ahead and put your hand down now. You have probably brought some unwanted attention to yourself). I am not converting to animism, but now that you are here, I hope you will take a few minutes and digest what I am about to say (or write…you know what I mean).
My struggle with the current state of Christianity.
I read in Scripture about an infinitely powerful and omnipotent God who wants to make his glory and majesty known to all the earth. I read about a God who speaks things like planets and galaxies into existence. I read about a God who loves his own sinful creation (man) so much that he lays out a plan of redemption that begins in the Garden and culminates with his Son going to a cross. On that cross, the Son of God takes upon himself the full weight of every sin in human history. I read about a God who is perfect in every way yet desires a relationship with me. I read about a God who says if I simply put my faith in Him, I will be with Him for all of eternity.
Then I see the miracles God performs in the lives of people in this world. I feel the Spirit pulling me into a deeper relationship. I sense God longing for me to dig deeper into Him. Deeper into his love. Deeper into his mercy. Deeper into his holiness. Deeper into his power.
It is a struggle because the Enemy wants to keep me from digging. But I feel the struggle every day. God is huge. God is amazing. God is worthy of praise. God is worthy of every piece of my life. He deserves to be worshiped. He gave his Son to take my sin.
Then I see the state of Christianity today. It saddens me. Christianity has more to do with a social status than submitting to an almighty God. Caucasian…check. Married…check. Awesome…check. Christian…check. We sacrifice our lives at the altars of comfort and security. Our churches are more concerned with pleasing people than making disciples. The statement, “I am a Christian” carries no weight.
In today’s culture, being a Christian means giving a small piece of time and money, coming to church most Sunday mornings (unless you are too tired or too busy or on vacation), and trying not to cuss, smoke, or drink. There is no submission of our lives to an infinitely powerful and holy God. A God whose love is so deep he sent his son to live among men and die on a cross.
Christians loves the idea of Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, but what about Jesus as our Lord? What about baptism representing the death of not just our sin, but also our selfish desires and plans?
What has happened?
I am burdened. I want God to change hearts…starting with me. Christians sit around and argue about who has the correct interpretation of the Bible when people need to hear the gospel. We refuse to fellowship with others who love Jesus because they interpret Acts 2:38 or John 3:16 differently than we do. We draw lines of fellowship based on worship style. What?!
Here is what I have learned by the grace of God. While there are certainly misguided approaches to God, NO person or group of people possesses the RIGHT understanding of what God expects in every situation. This truth badly hurt when God first convicted me of it, but the realization has been freeing. To have all the knowledge doesn’t make anyone awesome…it makes them God (or more rightly, god). And people are crappy gods. Only God has all the knowledge. What happened to our humility? What happened to our understanding of how limited we are?
I hope Christianity goes away.
I hope Christianity dies. Christianity in the sense of being a status symbol. What I hope emerges are followers of Jesus. What I hope emerges are men and women who take seriously all God is and all he has done to reconcile us back to Him. This paradigm shift in thinking and living will have to come from God. It will be nothing short of a miracle. But it can happen.
My prayer for Christians.
Lord, may you place in the hearts of your people a worldview where the gospel penetrates every fabric of their existence. Help us see that worship and justice are interconnected. Help us see that coming to a church building on Sunday mornings, reading the Bible, and praying are worthless if those disciplines do not draw us closer to you.
Father, I pray for revival in the hearts of the people in this land and around the globe. I pray for revival in my own heart. I understand revival start with me, so ignite my heart for you. Allow our time alone with you and our time in community with other believers to give us the courage and boldness to take the gospel into workplaces, grocery stores, ballfields, gyms, and schools.
I want my life to be characterized by the methods and teachings of Jesus. I am tired of Christianity being a checkbox. I struggle with this every day. I struggle with the gods of comfort and security. I bow down to them way too often. I am tired of living my life arguing and fussing over meaningless garbage when I could be impacting the world for the glory of God. I want to be part of a movement that believes in the height and depth of the power and majesty of God. I want to be part of a movement that seeks to expand the greatness of God and not confine it. I want to know God is larger than what I can see. I think you do too. Let’s believe together and see what happens.
This morning, in my time with God, I ran across Matthew 17:20. Very fitting for where I am right now in my journey.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
I believe God still works miracles today. I believe God can and will move mountains in our lives and in this world…but not if He is a checkbox. The world does not need any more “checkbox Christians.” The world needs committed followers of Jesus. Let’s throw that piece of paper away and start following.
So, is Christianity dying? Maybe. But is God still alive and still raising up followers of Jesus for His glory and His name? YES!!…I want to be one of those.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!