I saw a post a few weeks ago, of a sign that was displayed at the Christkindlemarket in Chicago. The title of the sign was “A” is for Atheist” written in red letters. It went on to proclaim that atheists, agnostics, secular humanists and freethinkers are far more numerous than most people realize. It spoke about promoting “rational thinking” over superstition. The sign mentioned that the number of “non-religious people in the United States is growing very rapidly.” The sign was encouraging people to “come out” and admit their “non-religious claims.”
When I saw the sign, my first reaction was that I don’t blame people at all for thinking like this about modern religion. Religion has truly become a “joke and/or a lie” if you listen to the messages proclaimed from most pulpits. The Bible does warn many times that we will no longer tolerate sound doctrine and the truth will be reduced to fables. (2 Timothy 4: 2-5) The very story that has kept people from eternal damnation is now reduced to a “short tale to teach a moral lesson.” I have been told many times that the Bible is a book of “fairytales.” (A fabricated story, especially one intended to deceive.) It seems that the average believers can’t even rebuke this claim! If they can, I certainly don’t see many doing so. I see the exact opposite. I see the false narratives growing and being unchallenged.
The Bible is now watered down to the level of a “self-help book”. If we honestly think “rationally” church might sound even more appealing to some than the self-help book because many times the claim is “get God or come to my church and your problems will cease.” Desperate souls walk into churches expecting to find answers and many times their problems linger on.
I posted a meme which said “We need preachers who preach that HELL is still hot, that sin is still wrong, that the Bible is still God’s Word and that Jesus is the only way of salvation.” Most modern preachers don’t preach these truths anymore and many people are never experiencing the “peace that is truly beyond all understanding” that only comes from the redemption from sin that only the Lord Jesus Christ can bring. This mentions no specific sin, but does make us feel uncomfortable. Sin will do that to us. God truly does want us all to be redeemed so He gave us all a conscience which ensures that every one of us is aware of our sin at one time or another. (Romans 2: 15-16)
I had many friends tell me that they tried that “God stuff and their life got no better.” I explain that they were told a lie. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ brings eternal life with God, not a “great life” on earth. It doesn’t guarantee perfection on earth at all, but it is often preached like it does. Nobody can guarantee or promise that our circumstances on earth will change. It’s impossible to know that, yet, this message dominates many pulpits. How can we blame hurting people for wanting to believe it? People aren’t that dumb. They know when they have been conned and/or lied to whether it was intentional or unintentional. I truly believe many people want truth and answers, but they can’t find it in the churches anymore. They desperately want peace of mind and keep searching for it at their psychiatrist’s office, bars, AA meetings, by taking pills, reading the latest self-help book or blog, etc.
What if all professing Christians were simply honest with people searching for answers? People aren’t being honest about sin, but we desperately need to be. The “watered down messages” that have dominated pulpits for a long time now, would have NEVER peaked my curiosity enough to search for truth, why would they peak anyone with an ounce of intelligence? Why do so many make Jesus Christ sound like a fable?!
I don’t blame anyone for thinking that Jesus Christ is a “fairytale” based on what is preached in churches nowadays. Many have been told to go to church to break their bad habits or get a “better life.” Jesus Christ was born to redeem us and die as our sinless Savior. Jesus Christ came first to offer every human being redemption from sin and later He will return to judge every human being. There is ample eyewitness evidence in the Bible and written about by some pretty intelligent people about Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. The historical events are established historical fact, but if we don’t recognize the NEED for redemption, why would we even explore this any further? Jesus Christ is coming back as the Judge and this will truly be a terrifying experience for the unredeemed. If we think life is hard now…imagine a “conscious ETERNITY” a million times harder, where there will be no peace, apart from your Creator and mine…. Do we really want to keep watering down this message? It is ETERNALLY worth it? Tis the season to talk about the reality of Jesus Christ. Merry CHRISTmas!
Image: by Ralph Dally; https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphandjenny/6766540633;CC by-2.0
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