American Christians are Soft and Weak

I had a history professor named Thomas Code. Professor Code was what I considered a hard man with a stern disposition. I took two classes from him in the early 1990s and I still think about a couple things he said. The first was that he challenged us as students to realize that college was one of the few things we paid more for and hope to get less out of. He used as an example how most folks were quite excited for classes to let out early. Another thing he said concerned the state of the American culture. He said we had all gotten soft and lost “the fire in the belly” we once had. Essentially, he was saying that in our current comfort and affluence we had become apathetic and complacent, more apt to obsess over our stuff and our status than champion a cause.

We had a guest speaker in church yesterday. He is a missionary that our fellowship has sent to work in Azerbaijan. He gave a great talk about what it means to be on the front line for the Gospel and He reminded us that there is a spiritual battle waging daily in the world. He used the Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi to challenge us to unity and to demonstrate how as Christians we are all soldiers with a mission to accomplish in God’s eternal plan. As I listened to the man challenge us I could hear Professor Code. We are soft. I am more concerned with my my job, my stuff, and what my next great tasting meal is going be than taking a stand for God’s advancing Kingdom. The missionary broke down at one point, sobbing over a lost opportunity to share the Gospel with a neighbor who suddenly died. It was foreign to me.

I know this post makes a blanket statement about American Christianity. I recognize that there are American Christians that are fully engaged in the battle, so forgive me if I have offended, but from my experience there are more folks filling the pews giving lip service to their commitment to Jesus and his Kingdom than actual warriors standing firm and taking a stand for the Gospel. I recognize them because I am one.

So what do we do? Do we even care?

 

 

 

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Daily Devotional – I would like to stay but…

Luke 4:42-43

42And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,

43but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

(Synagogue at Capernaum)

Reading these verses the other day I was struck at how focused Jesus was on the mission that the Father had given Him. I know that I am sometimes guilty of thinking if I just did this certain thing or that certain thing at my job I would rise to a position where people would honor me and I could kinda just rest on my  laurels. The mere fact that there is a phrase “rest on your laurels” testifies that I’m not the first with this idea, but not so for Jesus.

At first contemplation my take away from these verses was that we need to be focused on completing the mission God has given us. But as I have chewed these verses a bit more I realize that I am very guilty of not taking the good news of the kingdom of God to the next town. How many times has someone crossed my path that really needed to hear the good news of Jesus where I just rested in my own salvation and remained quiet? Have I become complacent in my position as one who is forgiven? Jesus himself told us to go and make disciples. Right?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your purpose and your plan. Thank you for your salvation and your reconciliation. Forgive me Father where I have fallen short. I pray God that you would open my eyes to the opportunities around me to proclaim your goodness and to herald the glory of your Kingdom. Father make me bold in your mission and empower me to do your will. I pray these things in Jesus name. Amen