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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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3/23/2005

Rather Than Studying ... 

... I decided to cruise through my blogroll, looking at some blogs that I normally read through my RSS reader, and some I hadn't been to in a while.

This post touched me. Especially this quote:
So what is a Christian to do? One answer seems to be that we eschew the entire mess and crawl into an enclave somewhere. We only buy from companies that have a fish symbol on their logos. We homeschool our kids. We get rid of the television. We only listen to Christian radio and Christian music. We isolate. This is the Protestant form of monasticism.

Another answer is to try to blend in. Dress, shop, talk, act like them but all the while we have a secret joy in our hearts. We can make our churches compete with whatever they have going on a Sunday AM or Saturday night or whatever. Worship as concert, preacher as entertainer.

The most common way is neither of those, as surprising as that seems. The most common way amongst American Christians is to just live in the midst of it as if it is all normal. Oh sure, we'll avoid Abercrombie and Fitch because they're immoral. We don't listen to rap or heavy metal but K-LITE radio is fine, nothing there is too offensive. We shop just like everyone else: we shop as if owning stuff defines us. Jesus is a option in the American lifestyle. A little Blockbuster, some Claire's, a touch of Pier One, gotta have some Gap then sprinkle it with Jesus when we get home.
This, I think, sums up the problem with American Christianity. It's an option, not a lifestyle. We live in the buffet line -- a little of this, a little of that, a side order of Jesus and some fries. There is no committment at all. There's no walk, and if you're paying any price for your faith you're probably one of those "fanatics" that the talk shows make fun of so much.

The disciples understood what following Jesus meant. They were in this for the long haul, even though they had their "down moments" when they lost sight of what Christ was teaching them. But when they were powered by the Holy Spirit, there was nothing they couldn't do -- or weren't willing to do. They all paid the ultimate price -- they died. Even John, who simply died of old age by most accounts, spent his last years in prison. But it was worth it to them.

What are we willing to sacrifice for our faith? Many of us aren't even willing to miss the Super Bowl for a church service. Can you imagine what would happen if the Christians in the United States got serious about their faith?


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