Friday, September 20, 2013

Christianity and the American Dream

“We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.” - ― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Platt does a great job in pointing out what comfortable and casual Christians are suffering from.  Maybe they believe that they are Christians and have been deceived that all they had to do is walk an aisle and pray a prayer.

The average disciple of Christ today is materialistic and consumer driven.  We have built the community of Christ around these two things.  Here are the reasons I think so:

1.  We INVITE everyone to COME to church.  We don’t obey the Great Commission to “GO” or “As you are GOING” anymore.  We ask everyone to COME to us.  Our attendance board depends on counting the ones that are there.  So we have built a faith of ATTENDANCE.

2.  Because we are pushed to INVITE people to the church services, “the PASTOR will save them with his message.”  Church has changed the focus to one that can share the gospel and one event that will save them instead of being the witnesses in Acts 1:8 that we were meant to be.  That’s why we have to create these clever evangelism strategies because we have lost our passion to reach the lost…just INVITE them and leave it up to someone else to witness.

2.  We ask folks to be a part of Bible Study.  The Bible Study part is great – our church has some good teachers and the pastor may preach a great sermon – but we are not challenging folks to APPLY the message.  We aren’t challenging them to work what they have learned out in their life.  Lack of ACCOUNTABILITY in many ways.

3.  We have massive BUILDINGS in the community – we are more concerned with maintaining what we have instead of REACHING OUT to the poor right across the street from the “buildings”.  We feed the machine.  Wouldn’t it be great to spend the maintenance money on reaching the community or helping one family in poverty with resources to succeed?

4.  The church is built on programs not on true discipleship.  An  organic view of discipleship where people shed their old self to the new creation in Christ.  We are so program driven, some churches have forgotten what the program is for and what the bottom line is for having it.  For example, most churches have three Children’s Ministry programs in a week to share three different stories with children a week – all three may not be effective and we confuse children with the gospel as we are force feeding them three lessons – (too much information in a week), instead of growing a disciple we are too focused on getting the lesson in.  Why don’t we make sure they learn and apply just one basic thing for their life and live it out.  Isn’t that a better direction?

We don’t like change in anything.  When Christ calls on us in salvation, we are to “surrender all” – give up everything!.  The disciples did it – Matt. 4:17.  We are to change in our devotions – once to the world and now to Him.  That’s a pretty big change.  Many want to “ride the fence” so to speak, because it’s too much to change everything in our life.  It is about “abandoning ourselves” – Platt makes a great point there.  What are you doing in following Jesus everyday?  Quit being casual with your faith and become radical with your life in abandoning things for Christ to become closer to Him.

Sleepy Disciple

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