In these changing and challenging times, the only thing that is constant is change.  Everything seems to be changing at breakneck speed—technology, government, media—and religion.  Over the past couple decades we have seen a slow, methodical redefining of what Christianity is presented as—and this trend is very disturbing.

We no longer talk a lot about sin—we emphasize God’s mercy and grace—but we discount Jesus’ call to pick up our cross daily, die to our flesh, and be transformed by the Holy Spirit into His image and likeness.  In many ways, Christianity is being presented as something we do, rather than what we are.  Too many Christians think going to church an hour a week where we sing, praise and listen to a sermon defines us as Christians.  Never mind the other 167 hours of the week, where we act much like the unsaved we are called to witness to.

Never mind that we are called out to be a peculiar people, vastly different from those in the world.  We seem more intent on how we can avoid being seen as peculiar to the lost, thinking that if we look just like them they will want to become a Christian.  We seem to think that if we are seen as accepting and tolerant of sin, that people will just see us as loving people and want to join us.

This slow move away from emphasizing doctrine and the absolute truth of God’s Word is killing the American Church, as we look more like the secular culture every day.  Just what does distinguish us from the secular culture these days—the fact that we grace God with our presence at church one whole hour every week?  Well if that’s the bar we have set for ourselves for being a Christian these days, we and the world are in a heap of trouble.  We have become a lazy, apathetic lot of Christians, who seem to think that saying the sinner’s prayer is the end of the journey, instead of a solid commitment to repent, lead a life of holiness and be real light and salt to the world.

This slow demise we have bought in to just might be leading us to a crossroad.  Economic and social pressures will increase in the coming years, and Christians will one day be asked to either stand on the truth of God and His Word, or conform to the world so we are seen as acceptable and loving.  If push comes to shove, will we stay true to God?  Or will we compromise with the world, justifying our cowardice?  Will we proudly proclaim the gospel?  Or be ashamed of it to protect our non-profit status?

With each passing year, we see the Bible de-emphasized by a growing number of churches who care more about being seen as relevant and non-judgmental, than they do about unashamedly proclaiming the truth and love of Jesus Christ.  Christian Universalism, New Ageism and religious syncretism are weakening us to the point where we really don’t stand for anything firm any more.  In Isaiah 7:9 God says this:  “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”   Well, just what does American Christianity stand for these days?  It seems to be a shell of its former self, conforming to the world instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.  There is time to turn things around.  If we repent and return to the ways of the Lord, Christianity can be salvaged and strengthened once again.  But I’m afraid that might just be too much to ask for of a people who have become proud and stiff-necked.  I hope and pray that I am wrong.