Word from the Pastor
For those of you who are unaware, Western Christianity is in serious decline. Christian authority and influence is fading and its membership is disengaging on a daily basis. The decline started slowly enough however, it has picked up its pace in the past few centuries. Christianity is not nearly relevant today as it once had been.
For example, in April 4, 2014, MIT Technology Review began an article about the relationship of the internet to religion with this statement: “Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the United States population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s a difference of about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion. That raised an obvious question: How come? Why are Americans losing their faith?” Many more studies and reports confirm the decline of Christianity. Christianity is the foundational basis of the power structures in Europe and the United States still, even as of now. However, we are beginning to see the consequences of what the decline in Christianity is bringing about for everyday Americans. As we observe, less and less people are claiming Christianity and the larger number who do claim Christianity, actually, are practicing it less and less, thusly, we will find that the consequences making Christianity more and more irrelevant will continue to escalate.
Christianity started to become more irrelevant when irrelevancy started to become more ingrained in Christianity. Just what does that mean? Let us take a brief look at biblical history. We humans have always had trouble accomplishing even the simplest ways of living and believing as God has asked of us. The Old Testament story of Israel and Judah reveals repeated cycles of their following God for a while but inevitably being drawn away from God to much easier ways of existing and living with one another or even better with one’s self. In the biblical story of Israel and Judah are the very strong temptations to integrate their neighbor’s religious practices or to substitute their own ideas of righteousness. Christians have been repeating the same thinking process since the inception of Christianity by altering what Christianity is all about. This form of thinking has taken place throughout all of history up to the present time.
For humans to try to improve on who God is through human reasoning by subjugating God to scientific methodologies is not only arrogant but also presumptuous, it also renders our religions irrelevant because it makes God subject to us and not us to Him. The legitimacy of Christianity is totally dependent on whether Jesus Christ is involved and active in our lives. If He isn’t actively in our lives as Christians, Christianity doesn’t exist for us. Thusly, we might just call ourselves humanists, even good and wonderful humanists. Christianity is about changing our lives to find a relevancy in God and not God finding a relevancy in us. Remember the scripture quote, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, ‘shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” It is also said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name’, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them,’ I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7:2123).
Jesus Christ wasn’t talking about Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, or any other religion. He was targeting those who claim to represent Him right through the ages up to this very day of modern Christianity. The Lord is pretty clear about this matter. Just because you label yourself “Christian” doesn’t necessarily make you a Christian.