To err on the side of caution means I cannot be true to my heart, while to err on the side of recklessness means I won't be taken seriously. But is the middle ground any better an option? Is compromise truly the way we are to express ourselves? Always biting our tongues to keep from offending whatever nameless group we're supposed to be cowering down before this week while coddling some inner child with self indulgent lies that we're "secretly" doing God's work? Have we gotten so good at the "secret" fight that it's become secret even to us?
Have we gotten so drunk off the kool-aid that when we read Revelations 3: 15-17 we miss that the lukewarm mindset He's talking about is the same one we've embraced?
I know I'm not the first one to point out the fact that Christianity as we know it is on the decline. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the very few believers that is celebrating it, though.
Let me explain that...
Christianity as we know it in the U.S.A. is declining. And that's a good thing. Because Christianity as we know it is not compatible to the message that Christ brought us. It is not compatible to the message that Peter and James and Paul and all of the other countless martyrs of the faith died for. Before I completely lose everyone here, let me clarify that I fully believe true Christianity is growing. Not just here, but world wide. I do believe that there are millions of God fearing, Jesus loving believers out there, in the trenches, day in-day out, fighting the good fight and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of the nations. For every mega church pastor and best selling author out there, there are a hundred-thousand laymen preaching the true gospel through thought and act and deed. Known, not by the number of twitter followers or facebook likes or the size and scope of their buildings, but by the Love that Christ said would set them apart from the world. The Church is alive and well and thriving. The Church will prevail against the very gates of Hell!
It is churches that are in decline.
Christianity "as we know it" is being exposed for the lie that it is. And that is a very good thing.
I could fill the rest of this page with countless examples of this, but that would not serve anyone. I have no intention of trying to remove your specks, knowing full well the weight of my plank. Instead, I want to ask you a question. Or, rather, I want you to ask yourself a question:
Would Jesus approve of this?
Seriously. Stop whatever you are doing and give that question the attention it deserves. Many of us only ask that question once a week as we look at what we're wearing to the building we've mistaken for The Church. How different would your life look if you asked that question more often? Would you live the way you live? Would you work the way you work? Would you treat others the way you treat them? Pastors, would your church look and act like it does? Parents, would your children behave the way that they do? Husbands, would you treat your wives the way you do? Wives, would you treat your husbands the way you do? Maybe I'm just being way too hard on myself, but when I ask myself the question, I keep coming up with "no" as the answer.
I see good people compromise their beliefs every day because they have never learned to trust the God of the Bible. I see others who think they are in good shape because they said a magic prayer once that cleansed all of their sins, yet they've never developed the relationship that actually will cleanse them. I see people I love and care for choose money as their master because they just can't understand the life of trust and sacrifice Jesus calls us to. I see so many people nodding their heads in agreement with the multitude of genuine pastors and preachers out there only to return to the same lifestyles of addiction and shame that they just agreed in their hearts was wrong. Is this just me? Is this you?
In the name of tolerance and political correctness, Christianity as we know it has compromised its position, its purity and its direction. Christianity as we know it is more concerned with pleasing Mammon than God. More concerned with appearances than with substance. Christianity as we know it has turned it's back on the freedom Christ offered and has willingly bent to the yoke of worldly indulgences and sinful lusts. Christianity as we know it is more interested in copyrighting, marketing and gaining exclusive rights to sell what Jesus has offered us for free.
Christianity as we know it is dying. And that is a good thing.
So, examine your heart. Examine your life. Ask yourself if Jesus would approve of it, or would he be flipping over the tables and chasing out the money-changers of your soul? Are you serving God or are you serving Mammon? Are you a follower of Christ or just christianity as we know it?