You know, it is sad to sit down and think for a moment that there are people in China who are actually dying for the gospel, and then reflect on the state of Christianity in America. I am reminded of a song by Keith Greene where he says that the “church just can’t fight because it is asleep in the light.” How true. We live in a time where we have more resources, more wealth, more ability to fulfill the mission of Christ than we have ever had, and yet we spend most of our time trying to further our own tiny kingdoms carved out of debt and dust.
The church in America is headed for dire straits, not because of our lack of resources, but in fact our abundance of resources. The worst problem we face sometimes is making sure we can pay our $1,200 mortgage payment. There are people in places like Afghanistan where that is more than the average worker makes in a year (Afghanistan’s per capita income is $834/year). While I admit, those can be stressful, and I have been there before, it is nothing like what Christians face in other parts of the world.
In China, you can be imprisoned for owning a Bible. In Arab countries, dominated by Sharia Law, imprisonment is what happens when Christians get really lucky, because beheading is the typical recompense. All of that to say this: American Christians have become weak on substance. If Paul were here today, his response to the church would be along the lines of “I wish I could give you the meat of the scripture, but you are still on baby food.” If Christianity is to survive in America, the change will have to come from Christians deciding to pursue the heart of God, and not the heart of Culture.
My heart goes out to the church here in America. I am afraid that if we do not awaken from our slumber, we will be swamped by the ravaging march of postmodernism and feel-good syncretism because we do not hold dearly enough to our Christian beliefs. I pray for Christians who fall asleep in the light while the world around us falls apart due to our lack of involvement in the world.
My challenge is this: take a moment to look around at your life. Look at how bad it is, then imagine that it could possibly be worse. Then, think about that for a moment, and think for another moment that it is even worse than that. Now you are beginning to approach the destitution of billions around the world. Now, look at what you HAVE been given by God and try to be thankful for it when you realize that there are countless others around the world that do have it much worse than you who bow before beheading blades praising the God of Heaven, who languish in prison in chains for the gospel of the Christ, who live their last days out loud as a living sacrifice to the LORD. I think if we took the time to realize the sacrifices made for the sake of the Bible, we would be far more willing to give far more of our hearts in real service to the one who created us all.