Being a Christian in America isn’t like being a Christian anywhere else in the world. There is a sense of entitlement pervading the church; prosperity to most American Christians means a life of leisure and the ability to have whatever those in Hollywood have. It’s “Name it and Claim it” on steroids. Go into any Christian bookstore, and there is more cheesy plastic junk with scripture on it than there are high quality, well-made items. We have books and Bibles, Christian entertainment, mints with scripture printed on them, and more future garage-sale items than we can possibly ever need. While our fellow Christians around the world are risking their lives to read well-worn pages of scripture, we can lay around reading christian romance novels. The sad part is, this is not the life we signed up for. It happens gradually to most of us; the initial high we get from embracing a new way of life gives way to feelings of emptiness, and ever-increasing attempts to appear prosperous. We’re not rooted and grounded, we’re frantic and stressed. But we sure look good, don’t we?
Churches look more and more like shopping malls. I recently went in to the bookstore at our church to buy a bible for someone, and got all caught up trying to decide between the pink, the purple, or the gold. (We chose pink.) And bought several more things on the way to the counter. And of course, we needed two specialty coffees for the ride home; make mine a latte, please.
Our daily lives aren’t really any different from everybody else. We watch the same television shows, go to the same movies, and listen to the same music. I know quite a few Christians who think nothing of driving out to spend time at the casino. What in the world are we thinking? We’re not going there to witness, we’re going to be entertained. Is this really where we want to spend time and money? This is what calling and separation are about; being in the world and not of it. It’s remembering that whether we are going to Taco Bell or the gas station, we are ministers on a mission, 24/7. We are so afraid of offending people that we end up not affecting anybody. We have the spiritual authority to make a difference; to influence the environment around us, and instead of using our authority, we leave it to the church leaders to worry about while we run off to play with our friends. We adapt to culture when we should be creating it.
Ain’t it grand to be a christian. Ain’t it grand.