What is wrong with American Christianity?
Its the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room. Nearly everyone in America claims to be Christian, yet when we look around we see very little evidence of it. You know friends and family members who believe themselves to be born again, but their lives don't show it. Americans have reduced the Gospel down to a formula to obtain a pass to get out of hell, but many conveniently ignore the Biblical description of a true Christian . . . you know, one who is growing in holiness, loves the things of God, detests the things of the world, and reflects the love of Christ. Doesn't sound like too many "christians" you know, right?
The Christians of the first Century were radical. They stood up for their faith and preached the name of Christ unashamedly, even if it meant their certain deaths. Peter stood on the day of Pentecost, declared the supremacy of Christ, and told his audience it was their fault Jesus was put to death! Doesn't sound too crowd pleasin', does it? No decision cards, 20 stanzas of "Just as I Am," or pleading from a slick preacher. . . Peter simply preached the truth. So why do we need the manipulation today? Why do we think that simply repeating a prayer, walking an aisle, or one quick experience will appease God simply so we can save our own hides? Why doesn't American Christianity match the Christianity of the Bible?
About 150 years ago, the Church largely forsook God's word and His Holy Spirit when it came to preaching the Gospel. Preachers looked for new ways to grow congregations for their own, self-seeking reasons, and being born again became nothing more than an intellectual ascent to a list of facts in order to stay out of hell. The altar call, the sinners prayer, and massive crusades were invented to boost man's ego, and people by the thousands have made "decisions for Christ" without any evidence in their lives that they were truly converted. The Scriptures do not speak of the salvation experience as something one did in the past . . . it always speaks of it as evidences in the present. Men in ministry did not trust God or the work of the Holy Spirit and decided to take things into their own hands. And when people flooded in the Chruch claiming they were saved, they believed their methods to be true because they appeared to work. What no one noticed (or wanted to notice), is that most of those people were quickly slipping out of the Church and back into the world. Now, many generations later, we are reaping the horrible consequences. What it means to be a Christian is grossly distorted, and the lie continues to spread. In 1991, in the first year of the decade of harvest, a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500 churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn't account for 280,000 of their decisions. This is normal, modern evangelical results.
The time has come for Christ to be lifted up again, and men and women see themselves in His light. Only then will they fall to their knees in repentance and come to Christ on His terms. Then, He will truly save. . . not only from hell, but from sin. They WILL be new creatures indeed.
In 2007, two evangelists hit the streets of Paducah to share the Gospel. What they found was a population of people who mostly all believed themselves to be born-again. But the majority did not profess Christianity as proclaimed in scripture and throughout Church history.
Men and women, claiming to be Christians, streamed into nightclubs where these two evangelists talked to them before they entered. Most freely admitted to their rebellion against God through their current drunkeness, revelries, and fornication. There was also no conviction. They believed themselves to be right with God because they did what a preacher told them to do when they were little children. In their eyes, they were OK because God is forgiving, and all they have to do is ask Him to let their lifestyles slide. But 1 John 2:15 says that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Clearly there was a disconnect between what these people believed to be true and the truth.
And the source of the error was American churches! In our eagerness to get immediate results, the Gospel has degenerated into a few easy steps in order to get someone into the Kingdom and on the church rolls. If a man can say "uh-huh" in the right places, someone would pat him on the back, shake his hand, smile broadly and say, "Brother, you're saved." But sadly, we have sent many to hell whose blinded minds said they were on their way to heaven. It is time for American churches to stop producing false converts and stand strong on the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.