Cultural Christianity

2 Timothy 3:5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

Is there a Christianity without the Gospel?

Is there a church without salvation?

Is there a Christianity without a relationship?

Is there a truth without conviction and commitment?

Is there a form, but no power to be real?

Half of any congregation on a Sunday morning does not know Jesus. ~George Barnea

Of course, the people sitting in the pew would never think he would be speaking to them because after all they attend church, believe in conservative values, and live a good moral life. All that may be true, but how much of what people know about Jesus is really from a cultural viewpoint rather than a relational one?

The church has a culture to it.

We know the hierarchy of it, the norms of it, the language that goes with it, and the beliefs that must be part of it. We know all the things that would identify it as a religion, but the Jesus of this cultural Christianity has little to no power to change my life. The church becomes a place where we talk the same language, love to be inspired to live better lives, and be assured that God forgives and loves us. End of story.

It is a good thing to know about the Christ of the Gospel, yet some never experience Christ for themselves. It’s like going to the movies and viewing a story that is not real but entertaining. It is like the blockbuster movie Top Gun: Maverick … the Navy says it's a good recruitment tool for young minds and hearts. However, the truth of the matter is in the reality of the story. People are entertained by the film, but the narrative of being like the pilots in the story will never play out in most people's lives. The church is like that in some ways. The narrative is entertaining and inspiring, but few walk away with its reality in their hearts. Cultural Christianity is like entertainment … it’s a great story, but it hasn’t changed my life to match its claims or potential in my life.

So, what changes us and makes Christianity the real deal in our lives?

Cultural Christianity is based upon tradition and normal church culture.

Biblical Christianity is based upon the knowledge and practice of His Word.

Biblical Christianity teaches you to know Who you believe in from the Scriptures. The Jesus often preached is not the Jesus of the Bible. To make Christianity a major player in your life will take conviction and commitment. The conviction is that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life … and the commitment centers on putting God first in everything you do and think.

Biblical Christianity is an ever-deepening of knowledge and practice. You can never expect to be fully engaged in Christ unless you know, love, and practice His Word. The Scriptures teach us that to know God is to obey God. Talk and practice are two separate animals, and no one can say they know God and live apart from His Word.

A Biblical Christian is powered by the discernment of the Holy Spirit in Spirit and Truth. The Holy Spirit teaches the truth and discerns what is wrong and what is right in our lives and the world around us. The Holy Spirit must play a part in how we live out our lives by faith in Jesus Christ.

Biblical Christianity is becoming less effective in recruiting new believers. The culture around us is a fierce enemy to believing in the God of the Bible. Today, everywhere we turn the culture is eroding the morals, principles, and values of believing in God. A preacher once said, "The Devil doesn't care if you believe in God, he just doesn't want you to take Him seriously." Okay, that is what Biblical Christianity does … it takes God seriously.

For some people, a simple belief in God is good enough for them. It’s their choice, of course, but the seriousness of not pursuing God when we have the chance is like swimming. You can take a few courses in how to swim, and even know how to do the dog paddle, but if you get thrown out of a boat in the middle of a lake you had better know more than that simple stroke. It might save your life, but don’t count on it.

Cultural Christianity, however, is hardly a dog paddle … it isn't Christianity at all. As the world changes into a darker place in which to live, it will take a Biblical Christian to survive.

Get into the Scriptures, know what they talk about, and how to make His Word a part of your daily spiritual routine.

Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler

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