by Gray Graham
I have noticed something for awhile. There seems to be a lot of people that believe that God is all about making them feel good in whatever they do. That our God is all about letting us do anything and everything we want, and it is all ok. Many are starting to behave as if they don't have to do anything in order to reach Heaven.
Now everytime I hear this I always ask the question, has this person actually read the Bible? Do they actually know what their faith is all about? Do they understand the fundamental principles of their stated religion?
Well it seems that Christians are not alone in not knowing their religion or anyone elses. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed that American's knowledge is sorely lacking, bordering on ignorance.
Now this survey comes as no big surprise to me. I have known this fact basically all of my life. I am usually the person that sheds light if you will on a long held belief someone holds. I will tell them their belief is wrong and then tell them where it is in the Bible to go read for themselves. I will put it in context and refer to a little history if that is applicable.
Most have appreciated this and often come to me again when they have a question. But there are others that completely reject the information given and will usually say something along the lines of “ that is just your opinion”. So my question to them is always, why do you claim a religion that you do not fully believe nor that you intend on following? You are completely free to do as you wish in your own name because that is what you chose to do but do not claim God and not follow.
Of course I knew that Atheists would score high in the survey. They have usually spent much time examining their religion and all the major religions of the world. They usually grew up in a faith just like everyone else but then felt that they out grew it usually for the reasons that it does not match up with their personal beliefs of right and wrong and most Christians do not actually live very Christ-like. Most of the Atheists I have known in my life are very good people, some former pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc, that live what most would say is a very Christian walk except they do not believe in God.
Throughout my life I have also known many people of different faiths including Islam, Hindism, and Buddhism just to name a few. They do believe in their religion and they try their best to live by it. Their religion is the driving force in their lives. It guides every decision that they make. I have yet to hear anyone state that they don't have to follow a teaching of their religion because it is just an “opinion.”
So then that brings us back to why are Christians so different? Why does everyone want to have their own “personal religion” where they get to do anything they want, yet still get to claim the title of Christian? The people who do this cross the spectrum in beliefs. We have seen Conservatives do this on many issues from gay marriage to the Islamic center near Ground Zero. We see Black churches do this when it concerns out of wedlock births and teen pregnancy.
The answer for this is simple and it is a message repeated throughout the Bible. People do not actually believe what they profess to believe. They want to do whatever they want, but just in case God is real, they want a way out, a safety net if you will. They are afraid enough to not want to perish, but not afraid enough to live a different life.
This way of thinking has had a profound effect on the next generation. They are not buying into what their parents have taught them about religion, since most have not actually observed their parents living according to their stated religion. If they have not completely rejected Christianity, then they proudly say it has no influence on their life.
So I will ask people that say that they are Christians to actually spend some time learning your religion and reading your Bible. If you want to claim it then follow it. If you don't want to follow it then don't claim it. This too is something that the Bible provides instruction. For it is often said “only God can judge me.” This is completely true and is something that you should think about long and hard. At this very moment, how would you be judged?