Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Gauntlet is on the Floor

As I was skimming various blogs tonight, I passed by one where the author made a very thought provoking statement. He said that every other religion in the world is busy turning out disciples except evangelical Christianity. As I read, I found that the point he wanted to make was that other religions teach their followers to live what they are. But that is often not so with evangelical Christians.

His statement made my mind leap back to a day I was riding in the car listening to Chuck Colson and his "Breakpoint" commentary. The particular commentary I had in mind was about why Islam will eventually win in the United States. Colson quoted a noted Islamic leader in America as saying that Islam, for a Muslim, is what he is. It is a state of being. He said that is what Americans fail to understand, that it is not simply a doctrine, or a belief, or a system of theology. It is what they are. They will keep on having children and raising them to be what they are and all the while Christianity in America will weaken and weaken. Eventually, the politicians, the teachers, the civic leaders, the TV personalities, and so on will be Muslims. They will simply outwait us.

In all that is a subtle point which I hope you saw ... Islam is what they are. Too many times Americans see Christianity as more of a club, or a hobby. It is what we do on Sunday. Churches are little more than stages for moralistic sermonizing. (In all this, I know I am generalizing somewhat, but many others have studied and written on this.) I know when I was young, I was caught in this trap. I had one set of beliefs and values for Sunday and another for every other day of the week. My Christianity did not impact my life in any appreciable way, except that I tried hard to be a good person. The idea that I was a Christian was foreign to me. To me, I was a Christian because I went to church on Sunday. But there is a saying that is popular today. "Going to church no more makes you a Christian than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger." There is a lot of truth there.

My friends, Jesus told us in John 6 that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no part in him. He said we must be born again. We need to become different than we are. We must become Christians. Christ has to be part of us. Listen! This is vital to everything. Are you a born again believer in Jesus Christ? Good. If you so claim then understand this ... if your profession of faith is true then you are a Christian. It is your state of being. You are a Christian like you are a human being. It is your state of existence. And that being so, isn't it is time we started to live like it.

John MacArthur, that very blessed Bible teacher, has a book out called Thinking Biblically. It talks about developing a biblical worldview. That is every Christian's need. Because that is what we are. We need to be living Christians and we need to develop the mindset in every new believer that they need to become living Christians. We need to raise our children to be tender to the things of God. We need to learn to see the world around us, in every facet, through Christian eyes. Christianity is not our hobby. Church is not a club. Christ is our life.

Beloved, the Church Universal is under assault today from every side. Theology used to be the "Queen of the Sciences" but now is the "Court Jester" of the world. One reason (among many that could be named) is that the world looks at us and sees nothing different from themselves. We are just like they are. And they mock us for our hypocrisy. We stand under the condemnation of Paul in Romans 2 when he said that the Name of the Lord our God is blasphemed among the Gentiles (unbelievers) because of us. But friends, that ought not to be! When Christians quit playing at Christianity and start living Christianity with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we will see the Church once again become a "mighty army." The gauntlet has been tossed to the floor. Are we willing to take it up? I pray we will.


Blogger Steve said...

John I agree very little discipleship is being done today. I am seeking to have a blog site that is primarily focused upon disciplship. I know that is your pastoral heart and I do pray God gives us the wisdom to disciple wherever we are as people tell us they are Christians and saved.

One that professes is to be discipled. I don;t question their salvation I assume they are correct but I do presume the need for discipleship!


5:19 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Islam advances because their words of peace are smoother than butter but war is in their hearts; There words are softer than oil, yet they are drawn swords (Psalm 55:21) and they are taking over many countries by their growing population as they are here in the US. I like your site.

2:13 PM  

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