Reflections on Evangelicalism #2

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all men; and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts”. 1Cor 3:1-3.

How can we measure the depth of truth we reside in as a church?

One of the yardsticks is the people in our church. The people we minister to reflect the depth and sincerity of our work in the Lord. Those in ministry can cover up their shortcomings in a lot of ways. We have academic degrees, exciting events, and new programs. We might be able impress each other with these accomplishments but these aren’t the things God judges by. God looks at the people we’ve ministered to.

When I consider the kinds of Christians that our churches create I’m disheartened. Recently I participated in a bible study. Most of the people in that room had almost no idea of how the cross works to put to death the sins of the old nature. I still sit in stunned amazement at how people can be in the church for decades and know so little about how the power of Christ’s sacrifice can change their lives. How can people go through years of bible school, Sunday school, seminary, and sermons and not know how the work of the cross puts to death the old sinful nature?

So many Christians are helpless against the power of their sin because they think that they aren’t trying hard enough to stop their inappropriate behavior. You would think that more people would give up on a useless, powerless Christianity.

There is something very wrong with this. This is absolutely pathetic! I am so thoroughly disappointed with what I see sometimes. We pretend to be the agents of God’s kingdom in this world. How can we be the agents of God when what we do makes Christians that are convinced they have everything when they are poor, blind and naked?

If the average Christian in the church is our letter of recommendation it should then compel us to seek the Lord for his judgment. We desperately need to know exactly what He thinks of us. As leaders we have spent too much time congratulating ourselves for getting ever increasing numbers, making new programs, getting our masters”, or building new buildings. It’s time to realize that we have missed the mark corporately and we need a radical readjustment. An adjustment only the Holy Spirit can supply us.

One of those adjustments is a return to the pure and unaltered gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve skipped ‘Christ and Him crucified’ and jumped straight to don’t do drugs” and expand my borders”. We need a redefinition of what it means to have faith in Christ. We need to know exactly who we are and why we need redemption. We need to believe in the Lord so He can His work in us and through us.

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