Opinions on faith and life

Live And Breathe What You Believe

2007-06-25

An article I was reading today was bemoaning what I’ve been bemoaning for years now: the pathetic state of Christianity today. It spoke of the high percentage of Christian youth who drift away after high school, and the fact that the drifting started many years before. And the cause, as I’ve also written, was seen as the shallowness of the typical Sunday School curriculum.

But there is another cause as well: parents and Sunday School teachers who treat Jesus more like a relative in a nursing home that needs to be visited once a week, just to soothe our guilty consciences. We “go to church” instead of being the church; we can’t wait to get home to our televisions, newspapers, and computers. The jokes about preachers sneaking off to the golf course are really a sad commentary on how most people view that time-honored country club called “church”.

Contrast this with the kind of life lived by the practitioners of the world’s religions. Their beliefs are woven into the fabric of their lives; they don’t try to divorce faith from practice the way we do. And nobody screams about some imaginary “separation of church and state” in countries known for their religions, because they have always practiced what they preached, 24 hours a day. Yet, ironically, although we hear our own leaders telling us to “try and learn from other faiths”, it isn’t their devotion and daily practice we are being told to emulate-- it’s their false beliefs!

You don’t see Hindu or Buddhist or even Communist youth abandoning their religions after going off to college, in spite of the fact that many of them also reject evolution / naturalism. And it’s because they, and their parents, and their whole society, live and breathe what they believe.

Want to stop this modern-day version of the Exodus? Stop keeping Jesus in a pretty box. Take your Bible off the shelf and throw away all those shallow devotionals and diabolical dialectic drivel. Show your children what the Christian life is all about. Weave the Biblical worldview into daily conversation, and teach them at every opportunity how to expose the poor logic and poorer track record of all those competing religions (ever notice how none of those “religious” countries are models of happiness and prosperity?).

But you can only do that if you yourself have the deep personal conviction that Jesus really is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life. Is He more than a nursing home resident to you? Then live like He matters. If all of us did that, we’d turn out a generation of fearless Christian soldiers that would turn the world upside down, just like Christians used to do (Acts 17:6).