I’ve written much about the great aversion to doctrine prevalent among professing Christians today, but I think the heart of this problem is that, as a group, we have forgotten who God is. God, even among those who allegedly know better, has been reduced to the white light at the end of a tunnel, a force to be manipulated, a tyrant to be appeased, a nice feeling, or an ultimate fighter, depending on one’s personal taste (or lack thereof).
And it follows that such a God doesn’t really care what we do for the most part. If you’re okay with yourself then God must be okay with you too. Gone are the lines over which most Christians used to never dare crossing; they’ve been replaced with a kind of “bell curve” that is mostly drawn in comparison with other people instead of God. As long as you’re not as bad as someone else, or as bad as you could be, then anybody who tries to ruin your fun is a legalist.
Now you know I think many Christians don’t allow enough room for personal convictions and wish to dictate every detail of our lives. But one extreme is no better than another; it is no more spiritual to throw holiness to the wind than it is to micromanage people. But between the two extremes is an alarming number of professing believers who simply don’t give a rip about much of anything, just happy to drift along and take samples from every belief system out there.
I see it all the time, especially online. People that I know are believers think nothing of dabbling in occult practices. Many seem to be enthralled with images of darkness and violence. Most can cuss like a drunken sailor and hardly notice when their “entertainment” is more like psychological conditioning to desensitize people to sadism and porn. They have forgotten how high Jesus set the bar, to the point where the “Christian” life is more like doing the limbo: “how low can you go?”
How can we have the Holy Spirit in us while we laugh about ghosts and witches, watch slasher movies or immoral sitcoms, and basically wallow in the sewer spiritually? Are there “rooms in our house” (places in our mind) that we’d rather keep locked and hope God doesn’t have a key? How can we say we love God while we harbor such evil? Is it because we have lost our senses and can no longer detect it?
This is no new problem, but that condemns us all the more:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. —Rev. 3:15-17
Does Jesus really matter to you? Can anyone tell?