The Temptations of Christendom

I don’t usually post items like this, but I stumbled across an interesting column that you can read here.  I know nothing about the author, but I thought his points were worth consideration.  He lists 10 ways that Christians often misrepresent Christ, or have allowed our culture to confuse the message of the Gospel.  [The bold is his point, the regular type is my summary of his explanation.]

  1. Too much money. Christianity and “middle class” have become synonymous in many people’s minds.
  2. Too confident God thinks we’re all that and a leather-bound gift Bible. I think he means that while confidence in our salvation is a good thing, we still need to be introspective and striving for holiness and godliness.
  3. Too quick to know what God really means by what he says in the Bible.
  4. Too action-oriented.
  5. Too invasive of others generally. Too many Christians try to control society and impose their values through politics and the media.  Don’t we believe in free will?
  6. Too invasive of others personally. We can tend to get involved in arguments over beliefs very easily.  Our evangelism efforts also can “insist” that someone respond to the Gospel, rather than letting the Holy Spirit work in that person’s life.
  7. Too quick to abandon logic. It’s easy to say, “well…I believe it because the Bible says it.”  Why do you trust the Bible?  Is it just faith or is there logic to it also?  If it’s subjective, acknowledge that and don’t insist that others agree.
  8. Too fixated on homosexuality. Where’s the Christian organisation fighting the grievous sin of western civilization, GLUTTONY?
  9. Too insular. Why do so few Christian have “non-church” friends?  Is it because we used to but they’re all Christians now?  Do enough of us involve ourselves in community organizations etc.?
  10. Too uneducated about Christianity. How many Christians can have an intelligent conversation about the Crusades?  Yet many “non-chrisitans” will use the Crusades as an example of why they’re not a Christian.  How many Christians really understand how the Bible has been transmitted over 2,000 years.

Okay, that’s his Top 10.

  • Do you agree or disagree with his list.  Please share your thoughts.
  • Are there any that jump off the page at you as correct or wrong?
  • Are there other areas that you would like to add to the list?
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2 comments

  1. Josh Freeman

    Peter,

    This was an interesting post to read! A few of these stuck out to me as something I see often. The first was number three. I agree that too often we claim understanding of the Word before we really dig deeply into the passage. For example, many “know” what God means by “do not add or take away from this book of prophecy.”. Many claim that God means the entire Bible. But is that truly what is meant by the text? Is Titus a prophetic book along with Ephesians? This is a simple example. My point is that too often we jump to a conclusion of what God means before investigation and claim “knowledge” of that passage.

    Number nine is also one I strongly believe is true. Many people I know only hang out with non-Christians and basically “keep the saved, saved.”

    I could go on and on about number ten but will keep it short and sweet. Too many of us are uneducated about “church history” and are unable to carry on conversations due to our ignorance. The lack of this knowledge also helpsnus showcase this ignorance in the lack of answers to reasons for certain things in certain fellowships.

    Thanks again Peter!

  2. K. Rex Butts

    Some of his points I see but others I not sure if they would belong in a top ten. I would replace some with issues like Christians are to nationalistic (where the secular political ideologies are one in the same with the intent of being Christian); Christians are willing to participate and support in militaristic violence against supposed ‘enemies of the state’ when Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for them (not bomb them).

    But many of these issues seem to be only symtomatic of the bigger issue: namely that more and more confessing Christians proclaim Jesus as Lord but functionally deny that confession by the values they live by and the subsequent behaviors the proceed from those values.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

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