the greatest challenge to Christianity

27 07 2006

Christianity is being attacked these days, but some of the attacks are coming from what appears to be the inside of the camp.  This quote looks at what may be the biggest challenge to Christianity these days :

What is the greatest challenge to us as Christians in the 21st century?  Is it rampant immorality?  Is it divisive social issues?  Is it increasing hostility toward God?  Those are dangers, for sure, but I would venture to say that our biggest threat is religion — religion that draws us away from the gospel.  Some religions openly oppose Christ, but others are more subtle.  They use language Christians already know, giving their faith a familiar sound.  Then they add to it their own twisted brand of thinking.  If such groups sound Christian, how can we know if they are preaching “a different gospel”?  (Galatians 1:6) … Learn God’s Word, so you won’t be deceived. ~ Dave Branon

In America, I think that is the biggest problem.  There are a lot of churches that proclaim Christianity but aren’t preaching the true Gospel.  They’ll talk about how God loves us and how we should be happy and blessed and live in peace.  And those things in themselves are true, if presented in an accurate light.  But that’s not all of the Gospel.  By leaving out the foundation of Christianity, they are creating many false converts.  If they make a call for salvation but don’t tell the people what they are being saved from or how Jesus saves them, how can they get saved?  The fact is, we have all sinned against God and the penalty is death.  The only way to be forgiven is for the shedding of innocent blood, which is why sacrifices of animals was made in the Old Testament.  Jesus lived a perfect life, so He was innocent and could pay the price for us.  That’s what we have to receive and accept to become a Christian.

Of course hearing about making your life happy and prosperous and peaceful sounds good.  Who wouldn’t sign up for that?  And so some churches are leaving out the “offensive” parts of Christianity like the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection, and that’s why there’s so many false converts.  That’s how some of the famous mega-churches get thousands and thousands of members.  But the problem is, a lot of these people will eventually realize that what they received isn’t working.  And so you have thousands of people who think Christianity isn’t the answer because it didn’t work.  But see, it does work, but you have to find the truth and not some watered-down false message.  When you have a real relationship with God, He changes you from the inside.  It will be a tough process at times, but by walking with Him you will be filled with His joy and peace and you will live a victorious and fruitful life.

Because there are thousands of people who claim Christianity because of what some church told them but aren’t actually living the life, Christianity gets a bad name.  Non-Christians see these people who claim to be saved yet many of them live just like the world, and so they think that Christians don’t take their beliefs seriously because they aren’t even living them.  And this process can snowball, and I think that’s happening today.

I’ve met people who claim Christianity but who don’t seem to make much effort to walk the walk.  They are adamant about the few beliefs they know, but they don’t want to even talk about God; or they may get mad if you ask them about what they believe.  What kind of witness is that?!?  I shudder to think of the influence they have on other people…

It saddens me when I meet people who have a false image of what Christianity really is.  If someone sees the truth and rejects it, that’s their choice, but at least they can make an educated choice.  But it’s not fair to people to see a false representation of Christianity and to judge it based on that.  And that’s why I agree with that quote that modified “religion” is the greatest challenge to Christianity today.

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