You Can’t Judge Christianity by the Product it Produces

love with actions not words

You can’t judge Christianity by the product it produces.

Or so I am told.

Even though we judge the veracity of virtually of everything by the product it produces, Christians think that Christianity should be exempt from such examination.

Raise the issue of the disconnect between the way Christians live and the truth they say they believe, and you’ll be told the only issue is the truth of the gospel.

“Christians are hypocrites”

So what. The gospel message is what matters.

“Christians live lives that are not any different from their non-Christian neighbors.”

So what. The gospel message is what matters.

Christians go around with bumper stickers that say “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” and  expect non-Christians to understand.

Non-Christians are told time and again that Jesus is the answer to what ails them.

Jesus will change their life if they will  trust him as their Lord and Savior.

Jesus fixes the broken, heals the hurting, and make every follower of him a new creation.

Jesus forgives sin, wipes the slate clean, and the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer to teach and guide them.

The Bible says Christians have the mind of Christ.

The Bible also says that Christians are to be perfect, even as their Father in Heaven is perfect.

Christians are even told in the book of James their lives must be sinless and 1 John says anyone who sins is of the devil.

The Bible also says they are to be holy just like God is holy.

The same Bible that tells us the gospel message that we are told we must accept as truth also presents a Christian lifestyle radically different from how Christians live today.

A lifestyle, it seems, that despite having their sins forgiven, being made a new creature in Christ, and having God live inside them, Christians are unable to live it.

We live in a nation inundated with Christian churches, Christian books, Christian TV and radio. Christianity is the professed religion of 78% of Americans. One out of four Americans are Evangelical. The United States is the most Christian nation on earth.

Yet, for the most part, those who profess they are Christian live are no differently than their non-Christian neighbor.

They preach Jesus is the answer, but the non-Christian looks at the Christian and says “how’s that working out for you?

If Christians truly want to impress the world, if Christians want to give the world a reason to pause and consider the truth of the gospel, then live like it matters.

Stop preaching and start living.

In other word put up or shut up.

While I believe the Bible to be an errant, fallible, non-inspired work of men, if Christians truly lived their lives according to the words of Jesus, it might make me pause for a moment to consider the message of Jesus.

But, I know I am safe. Christians love money, food, power, sex, pleasure, entertainment, material goods, etc just like the rest of us. For all their talk of heaven, they seem to want to stay alive right here on earth with the rest of us.

The product produced shows that the advertising is false.

Change the product and people might start believing the advertising.

I see nothing within Christianity that says to me “come home.”

I like my new  residence.

And I can sleep in on Sunday.

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4 Comments

  1. Lynn123

    I think for many, not all, that Christianity is basically an “add-on” to their comfortable American life. No one requires them to sacrifice or be drastically different. If some preacher told them they must do this, they’d find a different church and a different preacher. There are many to choose from.

    The most saintly woman I ever knew even once said something that caught my attention. She said that for many in that church, “that’s all they have.” I think she meant- They didn’t have money, family, transportation, status, the ability to go on vacation, etc. And many American Christians do have all those things PLUS the Jesus stuff. It’s an add-on that’s doesn’t seem real to me cause the rubber never has to meet the road.

    I think, for someone who notices and thinks about it, the American church experience where you’re hearing what Jesus requires vs. the actual life of those in the pews-there is such a disconnect that it causes conscious or unconscious confusion in the mind.

    Biggest thing for me in my last church was people going on cruises. This included the pastor. It seemed like a little clique. I thought, “this makes no sense to me.” I mean, people can go on all the cruises they want, but if they’re the super-Christians and pastors of the church, they should preach that-not the opposite of what they actually do!!!

    Reply
    1. Angiep

      When I was a Christian there was a lot of talk about making sacrifices, and we were actually expected to do so (e.g. tithing when you really couldn’t afford it). Materialism was not smiled upon. Of course that made it more likely that we would assimilate ourselves into the fellowship of other believers who also accepted church as “all they have.” In the past couple of decades I’ve noticed a switch to “prosperity doctrine.” As you say, Lynn123, religion is now an “add-on” that is promoted as something to make your life better. People are not interested in hearing about the hard requirements of their faith.

      Reply
      1. Lynn123

        Agree.

        Reply
  2. Erin

    In the tension between “Jesus will change their life if they will trust him as their Lord and Savior” and
    “‘Christians live lives that are not any different from their non-Christian neighbors'” is where I lost my faith.

    And that’s all I have to say about that. 🙂

    Reply

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