Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Inconsistent Christians

Posted in Christianity by Kathy on February 22, 2008

In my Bible study today, I came across this note on Romans 2:24. The context is Paul writing to the churches at Rome, and here addresses the Jewish Christians, upbraiding them for their hypocrisy. The verse reads, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” Now, here is the note on that verse, from the Nelson Study Bible, “Israel’s superior privileges should have produced a corresponding life-style, but they did not. This inconsistency has caused the name of God to be blasphemed among the Gentiles…..” What was said then about national Israel can be said now for those who call themselves Christians. All too often the lifestyle of people who claim to be Christians has led nonbelievers to reject Christians’ God. I can’t really say I blame them, either. If Christians can be as immoral as anyone else, and live like the world, and act like the world, what’s the point of being a Christian? If Christians lie, cheat, and steal, just like everybody else, then they are not superior to any other religion.

“Christians’ superior privileges should produce a corresponding lifestyle, but they have not. This inconsistency has caused the name of God to be blasphemed among the nonbelievers.”

Until nominal Christians start acting like the Bible says they should, true Christians will be weakened. That’s the problem with the philosophy behind movements like “The Purpose-Driven Church.” I admit that I’ve not read that book, and know precious little about Rick Warren; but from what I’ve read about his book, and the results of when churches put his marketing strategies to work for their church, it appears that churches are just worried about numbers on their rolls, or bodies in a pew. They are not concerned with changing peoples’ lives. In fact, if ministers preach subjects that are too sensitive, many people leave. I say, good riddance. I’ve heard it quoted, but don’t know the originator:

“The problem with churches today, is that they are more concerned with entertaining the goats than in feeding the sheep.”

This is all too true. And unfortunately, true Christians (you know, the ones who actually believe the Bible) are getting weak from lack of food, while the so-called Christians come to church for to be entertained and get their consciences soothed. They don’t want to hear that they’re sinners. They want to hear “God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life.” Well, what does the Bible say? Look at the sermons in the Bible–those of John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Philip, Stephen and Paul. Did these sermons start out “God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life”? A quick perusal will show that most if not all of these sermons were more along the lines of, “God is holy, righteous, and just; and you are a sinner deserving of hell.” Those who were “pricked in the heart” believed this message, recognized their lost estate, and cried out, “What shall I do to be saved?!” It was only then that the message of Christ’s atoning work was preached, to soothe the sinners’ fears.

Most modern churches have it backwards.

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4 Responses

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  1. stevemcgill said, on February 22, 2008 at 2:54 am

    If you give “Purpose Driven Life” a read, you might actually find more common ground than you suspect. I won’t argue with you about what churches have it “backward,” but it’s not fair to lump all “modern” churches in one basket. There are good ones and bad ones….of different sizes and of different origins. If Jesus Christ is exalted and the Bible is taught and people far from God are pointed towards Truth, there can be differences in expression and style that Christians should be careful about condeming.

  2. vincentlyonsden said, on February 22, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Hi, you’ve got it right as far as the nominal Christians go, and I am of the opinion that alot of these are not Christians at all. They show no fruit and dont even know when they are being fed religious arsenic. As for the real believers, take heart, The Lord is well able to keep those who are truly His, and judging by the concerns you have you are one of His. God bless, Vince.

  3. Lance said, on February 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Good thoughts. I agree with McGill that there are churches out there that are God-centered, rather than goat-centered, or even . . . sheep-centered.

    So many modern churches try to beautify themselves to look good for “seekers,” but Ephesians 5 tells us that Christ is our beautifier.

    May we commune deeply with Him and leave the way we appear to others in His hands.

  4. womantowomancbe said, on February 25, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve just written another post, with a link to a sermon our pastor preached yesterday that dealt with this subject more fully.

    As a clarification, my comments about churches are “if the shoe fits, wear it.” I know that many churches do not coddle the goats and do feed the sheep, and am of the opinion that mine is among them. But when I see so many people claim to be Christian, yet do not take the Bible as their guide and rule, and do not hold Christ-like opinions, then the only conclusion I can come to is that their churches are more interested in their bodies being in the pew than their souls feasting on Christ.

    God will have to sort out this mess–The Lord knows them that are His. But we need to be “wise as serpents” when it comes to the ways of this world, and understand that it is not “the hearers of the word” that are justified, but the doers.

    Kathy


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