I’ve just started reading a new book called “Christless Christianity,” which was written by Michael Horton. The author explores American Christianity and expresses his concern about where it is headed. Both conservative and liberal Christians come under Michael’s scrutiny, and he bewails the fact that both camps are more into spiritual coaching rather than spiritual conversion. The dilemma that Horton raises is this: are we more into preaching and hearing messages that are about humanity improved, or Christ crucified?
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
I think he has hit the nail on the head and pounded it through the Cross. When was the last time we heard a sermon about the blood of Christ? How many modern churches are comfortable with having no cross in their sanctuary? How many American Christians look to Jesus as a life improving spiritual coach, rather than the blood soaked redeemer of the world? We would rather be frequently taught Christian principles to get us out of debt, instead of being weekly reminded of the debt that was paid for our sins.
I don’t think the First Christians would recognize what passes for Christianity today. I am not even sure if they would be willing to die for what we believe in. We cast them aside as if they were unsophisticated simpletons, instead of the courageous martyrs who confronted Roman society as they established their faith.
We want everyone to like us and so we allow the world to shape our faith. It’s gets to the point where we are no different from those with no beliefs and our Christianity is shallow, shameless, and superficial. We have trouble keeping our faith alive and are troubled by our doubts. If we were transplanted back to the First Christian century, our current belief system would never have survived into a second century.
If you take Christ out of Christianity, you are left with I-anity, which is about right. We put ourselves, our culture, and our misconstrued beliefs first and foremost to satisfy our lifestyle. Rather than styling our lives on Jesus and proclaiming what He did way back then, we promote ourselves and the here and now. It’s all about us – it’s not about Jesus.
This book is a wake up call for the whole Church, no matter on which side of the theological divide we stand. The blood of Christ improves our lives, by cleansing our souls and removing our sins. You cannot find that in a self-improvement book. It only comes through grace.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are all guilty of following our own paths and asking You to be right behind us. Remind us that we are meant to be following You. Help us to recommit and rededicate our lives to You today. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.