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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where Have All The Christians Gone?

It's so nice to meet a Christian.

It's also very rare.

Two thousand years ago, a dozen of His followers changed a world. Today, a couple billion of them would be hard-pressed to change a flat tire. (Yes, I include myself in the latter group.)

The problem is really one of the ease of lip servie - we can claim allegiance, sing songs and make impassioned statements about how we'll embrace the Cross, and follow Our Lord to His death, without even trying to do what He's asked us to do.

We deride Peter for denying Jesus...and we'd probably be part of the mocking crowd. I mean, we mock Jesus every day.

"A Christian Isn't Perfect - Just Forgiven." It's a nice bumper sticker, and very convenient to hide behind when we find Christ tiresome. We just confess with the mouth that He's Lord, right? Then we can gossip with the mouth, covet with the mouth, actively deny forgiveness with the mouth...and it's cool because we've got a free pass!

We've got Jesus fooled!

Forgiveness is probably the worst. Jesus was pretty explicit about it - before going to worship, a man was to find his brother and forgive him. Whatever offense he cherished in his heart, as fuel for righteous anger...he was to let it go.

Do we do that? I don't. I've only met a couple of people who do. Most carry their unforgiveness with them like melting ice-cream cones, running sticky down their hands. Not very inspiring.

And in this Christmas season, we'll be coveting away like mad - even to the point of coveting the experiences of our neighbors who seem happier than we do, when the house fills with relatives and chaos comes to call.

We cry at Crusades, feeling in our hearts the sorrow of having to think of Jesus' progress down the Via Dolorosa. But so many of those tears are like the phylactaries and breast-beating of the Sanhedrin. They are designed for the people sitting around us, and they response they elicit from our companions are our reward.

Billy Graham liked to talk about a lost and dying world.

We, as Christians, have not helped. We have talked about the Good News, and have lived as hypocrites, rejecting the joy and freedom Christ would give us in return for the filth we cling to.

We are not the solution. We are the problem.


  1. Andrew, I am reading your back material because I am curious about your story. I feel I entered the party late at B&S and here. Do you share it anywhere? You strike me as an authentic Christ follower. I'd be curious when you got real with God? To me, that's when life really begins. This post gives me a glimpse of that part. One gets impatient/tired of shallow or self-righteous Christianity that has no life or depth to it. I agree with this post. Thanks

    1. Gosh, Norma, thank you for looking into the back numbers! That really made my night.

      Getting real with God has been something of a lifetime's work, and it's still a work in progress. I suppose regularly having close shaves with death from the age of twelve onward - equestrian accidents, flying accidents, bike accidents, motorcycle accidents, jumping off roofs for the fun of it, rock climbing with no safety equipment, pursuing a profession in which people actively tried to kill me - thoe things made a search for God something of an urgent matter.

      Perhaps I did all that because I wanted to find Him for real, and not live with a kind of shadow-faith. That may be the answer, really...and it came to me, just now.

      You may have just prompted my life's summary! How cool is THAT? :)

      I've shared bit and pieces in this blog, and in contributions to other blogs, notably B&S. My novel, "Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart", is to some degree autobiographical.

      The closer I get to dying, the less patient I am with the shallow and self-righteous hijackers of our faith. The basic truth is that it's not a bed of roses, with promised "double for your trouble" (if you'll send in a love gift NOW by calling the number on your screen!).

      The Crown of Thorns is rather more than a metaphor.

      Thank you again for being here. Truly.