I know, I know. Not the most peaceful of titles, but it needs to be said. The American Church and the American Christian needs to die. Figuratively speaking. I’m not saying that the Church needs to disappear from America, because it is needed now more than ever. But I think it’s time we took a serious look at what it means to be a Christian in America.
When I look around the Church in America, especially at my friends, and specifically at myself, I find that we are NOT Christians. We are what can be considered “Sunday Christians”, meaning we only behave the way we are called to behave on Sunday, the day we attend the weekly Church service, and then the rest of the week, when we are among our friends and family members, and when we are alone, we act like there is no God and that Jesus doesn’t matter in our lives. Eventually we begin to wonder why more people aren’t joining the Church and becoming Christians. Well, let me tell you what I have observed: they don’t see a difference between the way they live and the way they live. We promise a new life, a better life, a life filled with joy, and yet when we are looked at, they don’t see our lives as better or new I’m any way. We are the same as them in the quality of life.
Not only that, but we are the same in the WAY that we live. We watch the same movies, we tell the same jokes, we listen to the same music, we make fun of the same things, we gossip, slander, curse, enjoy violence and dirty jokes, we watch the same shows…the list can go on. I am not saying that ALL American Christians act this way, but there seems to be an abundance of “Sunday Christians” in the Church, and it needs to stop.
Romans 12:2 states that we are not to “be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” I think this verse makes it very clear. We are not to live like those of this world. We are to be different. Is it going to be hard? Yes. Is it going to cause us to lose friends? Yes. Will we be made fun of and persecuted for our beliefs? Yes. It is all to be expected. Paul tells Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to love godly on Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus makes the same claim to His disciples and those who listened to His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:10-12). We are called to be different. All over the New Testament, in practically every book, there are exhortations to stop living like we did before.
“The light is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.” Romans 12:12-13
“But immorality or Amy impurity or greed must not been be named among you, as is proper among the saints; and there must be no filthiness or silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)
I want you to seriously and carefully consider that last point. No one who is immoral, impure, or covetous will be allowed to enter the kingdom of God. So, you can claim to be a Christian all you want, but if you are still living in the ways of the world, then the Bible is perfectly clear: you will not enter God’s eternal kingdom when you pass from this world.
So, my call to all the self-proclaimed Christians that will read this, is that you need to start eliminating the things in your life that you know for a fact is not the way Jesus lived or would have lived if He walked in America, or anywhere on this earth, today. Every day, I am looking at the way I live and weighing it against the word of God and fixing little details in my life so that I can live the way Jesus commands me to live. Will it be hard? Definitely, but I know that eventually I will no longer care because I will be living a life of joy with my Savior, Jesus Christ.