Christianity has been lied about by Christians to the unChristian world. Christians have let the unChristian world believe being a Christian means you are merely moral — not repentant sinners in need of continual grace only found in Jesus. Stop doing cultural sinful practices and replace them with something culturally right, and voila! You’re a Christian. Throw in a few Bible verses and “thank you, Jesus!” and you’ve passed the litmus test.
Be Republican, and you’re in the club.
The moral majority was all the rage in the 80’s. Christianity was a cultural phenomenon, the in vogue culture club that all the cool kids were a part.
In the 21st Century, however, Christianity has lost its savor, its being Christian of its -anity.
Christianity has diminished in America because the unChristian world sees no cultural benefits to outweigh the cross it would have to bear by taking on the label.
Christianity that merely promotes (or more to the point, adds to believing in Jesus) certain hair styles, clothing, food, drinks, music and sub-cultural trends (or lack thereof) to be a Christian still sends people to hell in a hand basket.
And the unChristian world is telling Christians, “the Emperor has no clothes.”
This sort of Christianity has left those seeking water still thirsty (). As a result, the unChristian world no longer presupposes religious belief and finds traditionalism to be repressive. Why should people believe in a God and “do right things” when they can do right things of their own making?
The world does not need a to-do list. Nor does the world need a do-not-do list. The world needs Christ. True Christians, not culturally savvy people who use the word Christian as a rung on a ladder of making our best life now. Notice Paul says “do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh” to those who impose a to-do list onto believing in Jesus. That, too, is fleshly (ff; ff).
It is only when the chaff and dross of cultural Christianity gets burned up by persecution and tribulation that True Christians will shine brighter in the midst of a dark, unChristian world.
Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. If it were, His servants would fight to prevent His arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now His kingdom is from another place () where righteousness dwells and its fruit is displayed (ff).
The unChristian world needs true Christians who love God and love others as themselves (), who walk in the power of the Holy Spirit (ff), who go the extra mile (), and speak the Truth in love (); Not the Cultural Christianity of a country club.
Cultural Christians will never stay Christian when the times get desolate and persecution becomes reality. The unChristian world does not need Cultural Christians.
The unChristian world needs Christian Christians — Christians who claim Christ.
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water. (ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (ESV)
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. (ESV)
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (ESV)
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (ESV)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (ESV)
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (ESV)