American Church Not Unlike the World

I found it interesting this morning when I was checking my e-mail to read briefly through a message by John Piper titled, You Must Be Born Again: Why This Series and Where We are Going (http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/2007/2490_You_Must_Be_Born_Again_Why_This_Series_and_Where_Are_We_Going/) that Dr. Piper is preparing to talk about the same issues that we have been discussing on Wednesday night the past several weeks.  That those who profess faith in Jesus Christ do not live that differently than the rest of the world.  For instance, “Christians” (and I use this term very lightly) are as likely to divorce as non-Christians, have premarital sex, watch and listen to the same music, television programs, movies, and view internet pornography.  Not only is this the case, but many people who profess Christ dress and talk like the world, which makes it extremely difficult to differentiate between those who claim to be Christians and those that do not.  It’s encouraging to know that I am not the only one observing and addressing these same issues.   

Nevertheless, I wonder why this is the case?  Why do professing “Christians” not live radical lives that are counter culture and Christ-exalting? 

There has been a plethora of ideas suggested, and honestly, I do not have the answer.  Of course it is easy to recommend solutions to the problem, but is that enough?  As I addressed in the 3 part series, Encountering Jesus Christ, we need to examine ourlives to ensure that we are in the faith.  Is our life producing good fruit?  That is, is our thoughts, words, and actions conforming to the revealed will of God, which is His commandments? 

Before someone bemoans that I am promoting legalism, I would encourage you that you consider what I am saying.  What I am saying is that if we are in Christ, that is, if we have professed faith in Jesus Christ and have been “born-again,” then we are considered a new creation (2 Corinthians 5.21).  Therefore, our life will naturally produce good fruits that exalt God as we remain and continue in our relationship with Jesus Christ (read John 15).  So, I am led to believe that life is more about being, than it is about doing.  It is from the abundance of the heart that produces either good or bad behavior (read Luke 6.45).  

So, is our life producing good fruit, or is it producing bad fruit?  This is a question that we all need to continually ask ourselves to see if we are in the faith. 

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2 Responses to American Church Not Unlike the World

  1. Here is a verse that I found that I believe is key to being a Christian. It is the true meaning of religion:

    James 1:27
    “Holy and undefiled religion of our God and Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep onself unstained by the world.”

  2. Jesse Wisnewski says:

    Yes, Stephen, you are right, James 1.27 does speak quite clearly to the holy and undefiled religion. During the early 20th century, the church began to take a lesser role in the life of widows, orphans, and those in need. Personally, I would like to see the needs of widows, orphans, and those in need met moreso through the church, rather than an independent organization. This way those that are in need are immersed in a relationship with a local church body and not just given supplies.

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