Do you struggle as a Christian? Do you sometimes feel that everyone else around you seems to have it all together but you? Do you worry what people would think if they ever found out what a wreck you are inside? In a recent blog I explained some differences between Cultural Christianity and Biblical Christianity by comparing and contrasting certain issues in the church today. You can check it out here: http://makewar-trey.blogspot.com/2011/08/cultural-christianity-vs-biblical_31.html
The first comparison states: Cultural Christians have it all together and think they are pretty good while noticing the faults of others, while Biblical Christians are broken and realize their sin as well as their need for Jesus.
There is certainly an element of Cultural Christianity where people seem to think that Christians are supposed to have it all together. These people view Christianity as having good morals and values, and they themselves are considerably good people. They tithe most of the time, are in church every Sunday, and have good reputations in their community. They are generally conservative and don’t drink, chew, or smoke. They enjoy going to church and hearing a good sermon as well as good music. They would never claim to be perfect but at least they aren’t like those people who are really doing bad stuff. They can very quickly notice the splinters in others, but never see the logs in their own lives. However, the biblical Christian can’t see past their own sin to notice the sins of others. They know that they are hopeless and that only in Christ are they anything. They are depending in Christ alone for their salvation and hope.
A clear picture of this is the parable that Jesus told about the Pharisee and tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. We see in this passage how the Pharisee was putting his hope in his own works and righteousness, but the tax collector knew he was a sinner and that his only hope was in the mercy of God. The question is do we line up more with the Pharisee or the tax collector?
What disturbs me about contemporary church today is the lack of brokenness among Christians, and the lacking we see of it in general worship services. Just knowing that we are in the presence of a holy God should drastically impact us especially if we have an understanding of our sin. The problem is Cultural Christians don’t see themselves as sinful people in need of Jesus thus there is no reason to be broken. In fact in many churches the one’s who are broken and are on their faces at the altar, are seen by the “normal Christians” as the people who apparently are having problems. However, maybe the people who are on their knees and emotional are the tax collectors who see God for who He is and are broken over knowing it was their pride, anger, gossip, jealousy, that hung Jesus on the cross. Maybe the “messed up people” are just revealing that they are aware of the holy spirit’s presence and are responding in worship to a great God in the only way they know how: To just fall apart at His feet!
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Here is the truth of the matter! Many in churches today are simply Pharisees who think they are ok with God just because they aren’t like other people. These same people, however, have never truly encountered Jesus Christ. If they had experienced Christ they would know by witnessing His true beauty that they are nothing without Him. The result is a very confusing message sent to our young people. When God is dealing with their hearts, they feel that we should have it all together, and people would think they were weird if they were to fall on their faces before the throne of a holy God. Many young people generally see church as a social club where we dress to our best, socialize, sing songs, listen to a message, and go home because that is what has been modeled before them. This is Cultural Christianity and not Biblical Christianity, and quite frankly I will readily admit to being a messed up individual who is held together by Christ alone!