Is American Christianity Real?

Over the past several weeks, I have been troubled in my spirit. I am questioning much of what America calls Christianity. I am having problems justifying what I see in our churches and even our pulpits with what I see in the Bible, especially the New Testament. I mean, is it possible to be so “on fire” for Jesus that our lives are completely devoted to serving him and proclaiming him to a lost world? Because that’s what I see the Bible telling me, and frankly, I fall short and I believe we as a Church fall short as well. This bothers me!
For those of you that might come across this blog and read it, please correct me if you disagree with what I’m proposing. Really, I want you to show me why I’m wrong! What I see is a completely watered down version of how believers were told to live in the New Testament. To die to self, to give up our rights and entitlements, to take up our cross EVERY DAY!  What I see is churches that are, in my view, compromising scripture in order to be socially relevant. For the sake of not offending anyone, they are allowing worldly influences to permeate the church, and they call it progressive. I call it lukewarm. 
 
You probably see where I’m going with this. In Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus talks about the church of Laodicea. He says they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. The language is pretty strong as he says it makes him sick to his stomach. Just look at the characteristics of this church and tell me if you don’t see similarities today. They thought they were rich and prosperous and didn’t need anything, not realizing that they were wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. Lukewarm! They weren’t completely cold where they rejected Jesus completely, but they weren’t completely hot where they were so in love with Jesus that they were seen as fanatics. They were just comfortable being in the middle, thinking they didn’t really need anything else, not wanting to offend, trying to fit in and be like everybody else in the world. I don’t know about you but that’s how the American Church looks to me. Now, of course, I’m speaking generally. I know there are churches and individual Christians who are zealous for their faith and are living out the demands that Jesus made in his teachings, but overall, we seem to be lukewarm. We go to church, if it’s convenient, and we sit and pretend to listen. Then 30 minutes later we’ve forgotten everything we heard and experienced and we’ve moved on to the really important stuff, like eating dinner, planning our trip to the park or the lake or whatever. 
 
I think what upsets me the most about all this is I see myself right in the same mix way too often. Just going through the motions and doing my best to keep my head above water, looking forward to retirement. Trying to spend time in the Word of God, trying to spend time in prayer, but often getting sidetracked with busyness or distractions that keep me from the intimacy that God desires. So I’m writing this to spur myself as well as the American Church. Let’s keep running the race, let’s keep fighting the good, worthwhile fight for the kingdom of God. Let’s be serious about sharing our faith with everyone we have an opening with. Let’s believe the Bible and stand up for what it says even in the face of opposition. Let’s quit tickling ears by saying what we think people want to hear and let’s tell the truth! Church, let’s get “on fire” for the One who gave his life for us before it’s too late! Isn’t that what God wants from us? Amen!
 
Pastor Jim