Christian? (Part 1)

In my last post I stated, Tragically, the majority of those calling themselves Christian are riding the fence between Heaven and earth.  By that I mean, they “claim” Christianity…” (supposedly placing themselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ) “…while they live something quite different. They have bought into the values of our culture.”

I’m afraid that some may have taken offense at my words.  If so, I’m sorry.  I have no license to offend because I write a blog.  I did however want to get your attention; and, I can verify why I made that statement.  (Many of the following statistics will be taken from the book Unchristian,1 by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.)

Speaking now of Americans:  64% of the age group 18-41 say they have made a commitment to Jesus Christ at some point in their life.  And 73% of the age group 42+ say they have made the same decision.  And the percent of each group that actually embrace a biblical worldview is: for the 42+ age group, 9%; for the 18-41 age group, 3%.2

These statistics may or may not surprise you.  They floored me – especially the “worldview” numbers.  Among self-identified Christians ages 23 to 41 and 42+ these are the percentages who believe the following activities are morally acceptable. Cohabitation: 59% & 33%.  Gambling: 58% & 38%.  Sexual thought-fantasies about someone: 57% & 35%.  Sex outside of marriage: 44% & 23%.  Using profanity: 37% & 17%.  Getting drunk: 35% & 13%.  Looking at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behavior: 33% & 19%.  Having an abortion: 32% & 27%. Having sexual relationship with someone of the same sex: 28% & 13%.  Using drugs not prescribed for you: 16% & 8%.  Allowing the “f-word” on broadcast television: 7% & 6%.3

These are difficult figures for me to accept; and, I have to wonder what God thinks of them.  It tells me that many Christians in America are living far outside God’s will; and yes, all of us are hypocrites to one extent or another.4

Moreover, I think the reason is this.  Most Christians are hung-up on religion. They are obsessed with what they learned in Sunday School and Church.  They have all those “thou shalt not-s” down pat.  But, they continue to break them.  (Actually, we all do, if we’re honest with ourselves.)  But, eventually, many Christians decide they just can’t “measure-up” to the standards set by Jesus and they give-up trying.

The Jews had/have the same problem.  I don’t know how many laws you will find in Leviticus, but it’s far, way far, more rules than can possibly be obeyed “to the letter”.  Thus, the result is the same for the Jews.

Jews claim Judaism, and Christians claim Christianity… but many live their lives in some form of a compromise with society that they can (individually) justify to themselves.  Folks, we cannot bargain with God.  This is the wrong approach and a sure ticket to eternity in the absence of God.

Just as important, it provides non-Christians with a convenient label (and excuse) for dismissing Christianity.  Their attitude is: “Christianity?  No thanks.  Not interested.  Way too much hypocrisy and deceit.  I’m looking for the “real” truth.  Something ‘authentic’.  Something I can believe in.”

That should give all of us something to think about.  It deserves a lot of thought.  Both what it means in our personal lives; and also, what it means to Christianity, in general.  How do we appear to non-believers?  How does my life reflect my deepest beliefs?  And, are those beliefs (words and actions) reflections of God’s eternal Kingdom?  Or, are they reflections of Satan’s temporary stronghold here on planet Earth?

My next post will provide a possible solution to this apparent “hypocrisy” enigma.  And, here’s a hint of where I’m headed. Read John 14:6-7 and Mark 12:29-31.  And then, think about how you show God that you love Him; and, ask yourself how well you’re doing as a “servant”.  (Part 2 will be posted before the end of the week).

Avery Goodday

1 Unchristian: what a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters.  David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.  Published by: Baker Books a division of Baker Publishing Group; 2007, 2008.

2 ibid, pgs 74-75.

3 ibid, pg 53.

4 Hypocrite:  One who practices hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; esp: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

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