Cultural Christianity vs. Biblical Christianity Part 1

 I have been wrestling with this idea of Cultural Christianity vs. Biblical Christianity.  I don’t pretend to be the first person to write on this topic, and I know that my analysis might mirror others who have spoken about this before, however, this has really been hammering me lately mainly because of my own struggles with the issue. I believe that every person in this country is impacted by Cultural Christianity at least to an extent. There is no doubt a problem when we hear of underground believers in Asia who could lose their lives for being a Christian and we have people in this country who complain about the color of the carpet and music styles in their church!

The question that many may ask is: “What exactly is cultural Christianity?” That is a good question because it is such a broad term. It is quite difficult to narrow down an exact definition, but I am going to do my best. I have lately been dealing with this concept of being a Christian and what it exactly means. What did it mean to the early church? What does it mean now? Could it possibly change based on the culture? Would my life really be any different if I didn’t even believe in God, much less claim to be a Christian? When it comes down to it, what I see going on in the American church today is vastly different than what we see in the early church when we read Acts!When I think of a cultural Christian, I think of one who is a Christian in name only. They are merely a product of the culture surrounding them. This is especially prevalent in the south where going to church is just basically what one is suppose to do on Sunday, at least on Easter or Mother’s Day! Easter Sunday is cultural Christianity displayed at its finest. Churches everywhere are filled up with people dressed to their best. Some go out and actually purchase clothes just for this day (not saying this in particular is wrong) and go to church this one day out of the year. People fill church buildings and sing songs to God while it is noise to Him because most of these people are just checking off their Easter Sunday box to say “Ok God, I did you a favor by coming to church today!”

As I mentioned before, I believe that every person in this country is impacted by cultural Christianity and that was not a typo. Even those who don’t know Christ are impacted by this. Lost people who are on the outside basically see right though the church game. They can see that there is basically no difference between these people who claim to be Christians and them. They may go to church on Sunday but act no different than others throughout the week. They basically acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny Him with their lifestyle. This causes lost people to want nothing to do with Christianity because they are searching for something real and authentic.

I will be honest with you all! I am a cultural Christian to an extent and it makes me sick to my stomach! I have no excuses and I am tired of us trying to just downplay this issue. It is time that we face this head on pray that God will help us to fall in love with Him alone and not Him and fill in the blank! The truth is that often Jesus is just a means to an end and we are only interested in what we can get out of a relationship with Him instead of just cherishing Him for who He is.

Lately I had a conversation with someone who spent about six months on a mission trip out of the country. She basically told me that she rebuked someone for saying they would pray for her safety while in this country telling them that she wanted them to pray first and foremost for God’s will to be done no matter what the cost. That is a bold prayer and exactly what I want my prayer to be. I believe that this is where cultural Christianity DIES!!! That is when we come to the place where we realize that it is not about us and our safety, but about God being magnified through us and if that leads to suffering or death than so be it!

Jesus words here in Mark give us a picture of what true biblical Christianity is: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8: 34-35