Foreigners in Post-Christian Culture
A new couple came to visit Heart of Faith recently. Apparently, the husband finds this church a good safe place to worship and he felt comfortable sharing some of his personal experiences. Manny and Teresa (not their real names) started the process of adopting a child not too long ago. In an interview, they were asked if they agree with spanking or not. They explained very carefully that they see spanking as a loving way to discipline a child, as they have learned from the Bible. Both of them were excited to express not only what they believe is right but also to indirectly share their faith – holding with greater hope that this would be counted in their favor. To their dismay, that response simply ended the whole process.
This experience reminded me of what Dan Kimball wrote in his book, “They Like Jesus But Not The Church” that America has changed into a post-Christian culture. He goes on to say that “Christians are now the foreigners in a post-Christian culture, and we have got to wake up to this reality if we haven’t.”
America: a post-Christian culture? The Bible is no longer revered and valued. Christian faith practices are seen as narrow and uncool, yet other religions are okay! In one sense, this is not surprising because “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). People’s lives are dictated not by what the Bible says but “What’s in it for me?” (Sadly, this could also be the unspoken question and reason why we come to church!)
This is a fierce battle for those who want to become fully devoted followers of Christ. The world’s values are so different from what Christ counts as important. And because of this, there is a strong tendency for Christians to disconnect with “unbelievers,” mingling only with like-minded people in the church.
Shouldn’t we wake up to this realization that we need to live like missionaries who have entered another culture, learning, listening and living with the people and getting a sense of how to connect them back to God?
It might also help to ask if we too are driven by “what’s in it for me?”, or do we regard what God’s Word says and “keep our finger on the text”?