I wish this article was surprising. I wish that the concept here was so unusual and so . . . ridiculous . . . that I could read it and shrug it off. But it describes something that we all know is happening, and that’s what makes it unsettling.
Look at this exceprt from the article:
If World War II-era warbler Kate Smith sang today, her anthem could be Gods Bless America.
That’s one of the key findings in newly released research that reveals America’s drift from clearly defined religious denominations to faiths cut to fit personal preferences.
The folks who make up God as they go are side-by-side with self-proclaimed believers who claim the Christian label but shed their ties to traditional beliefs and practices. Religion statistics expert George Barna says, with a wry hint of exaggeration, America is headed for “310 million people with 310 million religions.”
“We are a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs — our clothing, our food, our education,” he says. Now it’s our religion.
That Americans are drifting away from the historical picture of Christianity is not surprising. Over the past two decades, every movement that attaches itself to the Church highlights the idea of “Jesus Only”. Nothing matters except Jesus. Jesus is all you need. That is both good and bad – good because, over the years, Churches have elevated programs, traditions, and hierarchy over the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the ENTIRE hope of our salvation. Anytime Christians are reminded of the Cross, that is a good thing.
But the danger of what is happening in the Church is that the statement, “Jesus is all you need,” has almost no definition. What are we really saying when we say to follow Jesus? Are we following the Jesus Christ who identifies Himself in Scripture? Are we following the teaching of the Messiah, who challenged everyone who crossed His path? Why did the people who spent time with Jesus always come away changed; confused; struggling with the heavy cost of following Him . . . but today, folks who proclaim, “All you need is Jesus,” often create a faith journey that is easy. Following Jesus requires NO change on their part. Instead of being transformed by the Gospel, they transform the Gospel to fit them.
Folks, we have a crisis in our country, and it is inside of the Church. Doctrine matters. What we believe about Christ matters. Following the Messiah means more than words. It means more than singing modern worship songs. It means more than sipping coffee in warmly lit worship centers and listening to sermons that make us smile. Following Christ is challening; it is risky; it is life-changing. It is time that we stand up and pledge to follow Jesus Christ as He reveals Himself in Scripture.
If we can do that, instead of being transformed by our culture, we can transform our culture for Christ.