Soul Searching

So I’ve been reading this book for a long time, it’s a slow reading researching book, about spirituality in the lives of American teenagers. And it looks at spirituality in many different faith context and how students look at their faith, and how it affects their lives. Today what I read disturbed me not just for teenagers, but for the entire church.

“moralistic Therapeutic Deism, is colonizing many historical religious traditions and, almost without anyone noticing, converting believers in the old faiths to its alternative religious vision of divinely underwritten personal happiness and interpersonal niceness . . . We can say here that we have come with some confidence to believe that a significant part of Christianity in the United States is actually only tenuously Christian in any sense that is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition . . . It is not so much that U.S. Christianity is being secularized. Rather more subtly, Christianity is either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself or, more significantly, Christianity is actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith.” (pg 171)

I read this section of the book and I felt horrible, because I know it is true. More and more people are trying to use God just to feel good about themselves, and really the only people to blame for this is the Church. I fear the the seeker sensitive movement, which was spawned with the best of intentions is actually causing people to dilute the faith so much that they really don’t ever think about letting God take over their whole lives, and they don’t care that other people are actually going to hell because we don’t want to offend people with the truth that is proclaimed in the Bible.

American culture has created this great melting pot, and mega churches have gathered many people to the event on Sunday morning. But is this melting pot and the easy gospel killing Christianity in the US? I don’t know. I’m all for cultural diversity, but shouldn’t I also defend what I believe? Shouldn’t the church be willing and able to stand up with confidence and preach what the Bible says? Or do we want to be broad and general in what we talk about? Do we want to preach the gospel of give self help seminars, or self esteem boosters to the overmedicated masses?

God makes people uncomfortable, and that’s good, because in that discomfort there is probably some reverence, but instead of embracing that reverence and otherness of God, we would rather not talk about what he would like us to do in our lives, or that he loves people but for his mercy to be so deep there also has to be wrath. God isn’t the cosmic sky fairy that grants wishes to “good people”. God is bigger than that and we in the church should not be afraid of God, and offending people with his truth. If I have to choose between offending God or offending you, I am going to offend you every time.

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