Christianity in Theory vs. Christianity in Practice
ďBut wilt thou know, oh vain man, that faith without works is dead.Ē
-James 2:20, KJV
Being again led my Spirit I have now taken to the pen to give my account, for what it is worth, as to the current chasms that exist between the theories and actions of many Christians today. Having previously taken to commentaries about the fundamental flaws and failures of the American Christian Church structures and criticized its inclinations towards apathetic worship, so have I disapproved of itís overall direction, or rather lack of direction. To such a degree have I disapproved of the direction of the modern Christian church, that I have all but separated myself from it for my own soulís sake, not to mention my very sanity.
It is my unfortunate opinion that the modern churches are full of lukewarm Christians, who are quick to speak and praise their Lord who they in no way shape or form resemble, nor are they striving to resemble. The church leaders, representing the mortal heads of the churches have failed to accurately and truthfully convey the teachings and virtues of Christ to their congregations. In large part many of the pastors, preachers, and deacons have given ground to the advancing wickedness of this modern world. Their wicked cultures of profiteering, have thus invaded our temples and synagogues, spaces which Christ alone should be allowed to occupy!
While it is not a new phenomenon that the following of Christ has presented many a stumbling block throughout time, I can only comment on the time in which I know; the present! I will admit that the modern churches efforts are not completely in vain, but I only imply that the messages and the teachings of the church heads have become a tightrope act of sorts; too often tip-toeing back and forth between the Kingdom of the Worldly and the Kingdom of Heaven. Too much of the modern church structure has been absorbed by the worldly wickedness! This high wire act has, in turn, deluded the thoughts and have tainted the actions of its members, all the while undermining the true Spirit in doing so. The business of religion has usurped much of the work of Christ in the church.
The Devil has cloaked himself all too well in the guises of profit and self-promotion, and, by way of these anonymous and shapeless figures, he has gained a foothold in the pulpits of the modern church. Business models, similar to the rest of the world, have taken precedence in the minds of our church leaders. Regrettably, the true Essence of Christ has been systematically pushed further and further to the backburners! I recently visited a small town church and was thoroughly impressed by their zeal in worship. At the end of the service, being a new face, two of the church leaders came up to me and introduced themselves and each handed me a card which at the time I thought to be Christmas cards, as my visit was in mid-December. Having a brief fellowship with them I then exited their church and was reveling in my attendance. When I got into my car, I thought it great timing to open these envelopes which both had the inscriptions, ďMERRY CHRISTMASĒ. To my suprise one was a sign-up card for some silly Jerusalem sponsored magazine, and then the next one was the same except for another type of Christian magazine. ďHow dare they run their rackets in the blessed House of the Lord,Ē I remember saying unto my self! I am not here to debate the usefulness of such magazines, but simply that the timing and the place was utterly distasteful. Lucky I had not opened these blasted envelopes while still in the chapel or else they would have heard my disdain for such foolishness! The business of religion goes on in such ways in our modern churches. I now digress back to my writings.
Naturally, as the heads of our churches have become more and more desolate, so has the body, or the congregations, of our churches been weakened. The Bible itself has not changed, but it is clear that the minds who read it today have. Is it not true that the maladies of the head will always de-habilitate the body? And so it is in this way that the masses of the modern Christian churches have been morally degenerating for quite some time. These ailing Christian bodies have been longing for a revival by their heads, but as of yet we have seen no great movement within our country! The schizophrenia of the head has rendered the body lame.
These church heads, being bloated through the memorizations of verses, have been keen to instruct the masses theologically, but have failed to put their bodies into practice. They have carefully picked and chosen the most pleasant aromas that Christianity has to offer in order to attract more and more converts, and appease their already warmed bodies. They have calculated, according to their business models, that the most profitable modes of worship is open inclusion, and have thus conveniently omitted the unpleasant truths in following God. Part of them wants to save everyone, which is in theory a great thing, but they are doing themselves a disservice for partially serving their hopes that, by such open inclusion, more donations will ultimately be collected. Much greater service of God could be had by a simple bare grounded worship by a local river or park!
This schizophrenia of the head has corrupted the body into forms of despotic worship, which is at core a simplified way of self-absolving the guilty public. Many put on their Sundayís finest and put their best face forward for an hour or so a week, and upon leaving their churches, de-robe and continue on with their devilish ways. Many are guilty of standing on the name of our Lord in plain view, while they desecrate themselves privately. So do these types warm many a pew and provide fodder for the swarms of non-believers and atheists in our country and abroad. The church leaders, doing what they think is Godís work by opening their doors to all comers, are actually doing a disservice by making all that is sacred a circus of half-hearted humanity. They would do best to use a bit more discretion as to who entered the House of the Lord. My favorite preacher was oft to say that the rapture could come, and many in the churches would even know it! I pray that this is not true but I fear it may be in many of our places of worship.
I believe that modern Christianity has, for the largest part, devolved into a religion of theory and symbolism with a clear lack in resoluteness. If this were not true, then how do you explain the morally degenerate state of our nation? You see, Christianity has been under attack by the dark forces of this country for a long time now. These dark forces are the works of the Devil himself. He has succeeded in making our religion nearly illegal in this country, removing prayer in our schools and workplaces, meanwhile rolling out the red carpet for the inclusion of all sorts of alternate religions. With our heads firmly planted in the sands and our bodies paralyzed, the Enemy has taken a tight grip over our nation. Meanwhile, the multitudes of Christians are guilty of sitting idly by and watching the carnage unfold.
I have had the displeasure, in my lifetime alone, to witness the breakdown of our families by way of sexual perversions, divorces, and domestic violence. I have also seen an overall decline of morality in our culture by ways of greed, envy, and other forms of selfishness. These, I tell you reader, are not the fruits of God but the excrements of the Enemy. How could this happen in a mostly Christian nation? This is the question which now haunts my mind, body, soul, and conscience.
Many people in America, and also Christianity, have become adept finger pointers, another characteristic which is foreign to the core of Christ. I have heard so many explanations and sob stories about how this or that is to blame for our national predicaments, but have not heard one person admit their own faults. Some say that the corrupt government is to blame, while others say that drugs are an impediment, while others say that sexual promiscuity is the crux. I have heard all the excuses and have considered even the most trivial of causes. Well I say enough is enough! When there is a problem to be cured, a psychologist will always begin his treatments by first getting the patient to admit his own guilt, and to have that patient express his issues out loud to himself. This is the paths that we, as both Christians and as Americans, must put ourselves on. Stop the never ending blame game, admit our guilt in the matter, and proceed towards its rectifying. This first step is cleansing, and the following steps will naturally follow course.
Do not be so quick to blame your neighbor for the condition of your churches and communities, and further nation. Have you no part in said community or church or nation? As a member of these institutions you have great responsibility to maintain their cleanliness and hold them upright. I have prescribed to believe that our churches, communities, and nation have become so dismal due to each individualís shirking of their personal responsibilities. We have become a theoretical nation of individuals who either donít care for each other or donít take the time and effort to look after our neighbors. Christians ought to be at the forefronts of all these fights against the Enemyís advances! Christians should be the upholders of righteousness, examples of compassion, and caretakers of the less fortunate. Sadly, many have accepted the theories and titles of Christianity, without ever considering the inherent responsibilities that come with it. I believe that many new recruits ought to be made more aware of the responsibilities before they come to Christianity. This way they would take their inclusion into this great religion more seriously. Duties are always attached to titles! You cannot separate faith from works, and works from faith for they will universally go hand in hand.
While it is true the infant Christian must first be saved by his faith in Christ, it is also fact that said faith, if firmly planted in their hearts and minds, will always bloom into good deeds, just actions, and wonderful works. If a man or woman was once an agent of sinful debauchery, then they will no longer be able to stomach the smell of unrighteousness after being saved by Faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus was not a man of theory, nor did God send him to this Earth in vain. He accepted his responsibilities of his title as Savior, and so put His Fatherís theories into action and therefore proving his Eternal Faith by His crucifixion and Rebirth. Is he not our prime example as to how we, as humans, are to live? I would ask you how you resemble Christ? Pause for a second before reading further and write down the ways that you are Christ-like and then continue to the next question. Now review your answers and see how many of them are theoretical and how many of them are practical. I find this a great exercise to measure our Faith.
If one is full of Faith, he or she will become a human of Spirit, and this Spirit will guide their every thought and action. As their Faith is cultivated, so will their Spirit move them towards righteous and just actions, and move them further and further away from their worldly thoughts and actions. If a man or woman fancies themselves a Christian, but goes on living in their worldly ways and exhibits no new outwardly forms, then I regret to say that they lack a real Faith and are therefore not yet a Christian. The symbol of the Cross is not a symbol that one should wear on oneís lapel lightly, and much care should be taken by Christians to make sure that its sanctity is forever preserved. Jesus himself taught us this by his own disgust and rebellious attitudes towards the so-called holy priests, called Pharisees, that he often encountered in Jerusalem. While we should not judge others unjustly, if the sanctity of Godís name is being misused then it is the responsibility of the Christian communities to uphold it, even at the cost of ruffling a few feathers. Of course there is always a fine line to be walked when pointing out the splinters in the eyes of others!
I have hoped by now to make it clear to my readers that it is your responsibility, as a Christian and also an American, to shape your families, communities, and nation. The true Christian is not a man or woman who needs a majority to bolster their actions. A Christian should not wait for others to solidify his own Faith, for he or she will be judged singularly by Jesus. A person of Faith should, at all times, have a discriminating view of their life so that they should not let evil become their unseen bedfellow. Being a Christian does not give you the right to wield Godís materials for your own benefit, but for the benefit of Heavenís alone. The true Christian is not a man after wealth, sexual desires, or personal advancement. If you call yourself a Christian and you have a mind for personal gains then I highly suggest that you are as lost as you are saved. The true Christian edifies himself on his Faith, not off the bread of others. Wealth, as Jesus said, is the biggest obstacle between a man and Heaven. You cannot serve two masters! If you are a wealthy man, I suggest that you get busy putting that work for the common good of Heaven or that you get rid of it altogether. If you have a mind for sexual debauchery or drug addiction, then you best deal with that problem at once before it drowns you and the people you will inevitably hurt in the process. Jesus can help you with these common problems if you lay them at his feet, but only if you submit yourself fully to His Will.
I have long pondered what makes the modern American Christian so docile in his service. I believe there are a couple of reasons that I would now bring forth. There will be many of you that will disagree with some of my observations but nevertheless I see the glaring need to wake up Americaís Christian communities from their coma-like conditions. I will now list the top three reasons why I believe many have become such inactive followers of Christ.
1. AN OVERALL LACK OF FAITH - When I try to inspire other Christians, and also non-believers, to live more Christ-like lives it becomes clear to me that they havenít the Faith to take that first step into action. How many today are ready to do what Jesus asked his followers and let go of all their possessions and follow Him? Asking modern peoples to do this today, as I have found out, is like asking the dung beetle to refrain from the dung pile; it is a near useless plea indeed. You see, while they read and recite of how Jesus will provide for their needs, they donít really have enough Faith that He will. Reader, I speak to you now through personal experience when I profess that God can and will provide for your essential needs if only you removed all the worldly obstacles between you and Him. Loosen all that needless baggage and put your efforts towards His work, and quit wasting your time building up your treasure here in this short-lived world. You may waste your whole life in a useless toil to build up wealth which you cannot take to Eternity! This is the plain Truth that your local church wonít tell you as they donít want to lose your tithes, but I will because my intentions are only in your Spiritual salvation and are pure at heart. I assure you that you will never be happier as I am now to have broke free from the chains of the Enemy! True happiness is only achieved through the practice of your Faith, and without it your useless worries about your job, your rent, and your debts will only hold you back from experiencing the real blessings of Christ. Reader, there are many right now who are in desperate need of your witness and example. Will you shirk your responsibilities as a follower of Christ, or will you take a leap of Faith in the One who you profess to serve. The choice is yours.
2. THE PERVERSING OF THE GOSPELS - Many a church is guilty of extorting the name of the Lord for their own designs. As I have previously stated, many churches delicately caress their followers into coma-like worshippers. This is done for a couple of different reasons but the main is for profitability and financial buoyancy. They build wastefully large buildings and consecrate them with a business model. What a worldly waste and abomination! Did John the Baptist conduct his followers from a palace? Christianity is not a religion of material, but of thought and feeling. The modern Christian church structure also perverts the Truth in the Gospels and repackages their sermons so in the best way to flatter their congregations. Peace and love are overly emphasized for a happy effect, while the just judgements and wraths of God upon the wicked are left out. Why? Because peace and love sell, while fire and brimstone upset the comas of the masses. This anesthetizes the church goers into the easiest modes of worship. The current pathetic state of modern Christianity is not an accident or oversight by the church. They are the ones who have induced our comas as a Christian nation, and the guilty souls, who are only attending them for their own self absolving of guilt, are far too happy to oblige them. The whole story of the Bible should be told as plain as it is written so that we can learn to how to live by it. The Enemy plays a large part in obscuring the Truth of the Word so that the masses of church goers never wake up to be truly saved. If one would read the Word and have true Faith in itís words, then they will see that the blueprint of the true Christian follower is plainly there to be edified. Unfortunately, the modern Christian churches have too many economic and personal interests to protect nowadays to really tell it like it is!
3. AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM - Generally speaking, this is a problem of the swelled up ego of the average American, not excluding our modern Christian church. This arrogance is quite peculiar and is to me a phenomenon which is quite a hard thing to explain but yet I will try. We have become a people who believe that we, being the so called leaders and ďliberatorsĒ of the world, are free to take what we wish when we want it. And so we have at the great cost of lives! We have bought into our own superiority to the degree that we have nearly, as a people and nation, become morally incoherent. We believe because we dominate global affairs that God is on our side, which gives us a license to have all the luxuries and comforts that the world can bequeath us. And so we have all the trappings, bells, and whistles at our disposal. While we enslave the nations we invade in the name of American democracy, so do we install ourselves as itís slave masters. The whole world is engulfed in conflict so that each American can satiate their every desire. And so we do! We have little children making our clothes so that we can look nice. And so we do! We invade Middle Eastern countries so that we can drive our vehicles around at our every whim. And so we do! We have slaves digging out conflict diamonds so that we can profess our love to each other. And so we do! We have become the tyrants of the world, believing we are the protectors of freedom. American citizens havenít the need of a wicked government to pull the wool over their eyes, as they are the ones who take pride in that task. This paradox is most troubling to me, being a true Christian, and I have devoted my life towards itís study.
We have collectively become nothing short of heathens unto the world, and our guilt is mounting everyday. This accumulating guilt, for our individual parts in the destruction of our world, mixed with the inflated egos of our citizens is a major roadblock between us and God. Our collective distance from Him is codified by the lukewarm nature of the modern Christian churches, which contributes to our overall lack of national Faith. And so without Faith, our theories are nullified. We must humble ourselves as equal members of the human race, and recognize the destructive ways of our society before we can ever purely serve God. Americans, and Christians, we must wake up before it is too late!
There are many other issues that contribute to inactivity as Christians, but the reasons stated above, I believe, are the most pertinent. An overall lack of faith, compounded by our iniquitous behaviors and lack of true Christian worship, has sapped us of our righteousness as a nation. Due to the extreme iniquity of our modern world, we must counteract these forces by more extreme collective actions. Let us shed our inadequate shells as theologians and naysayers, and take those first steps into justified action. Let us not be reactive victims of our declining communities, but rather pro-active members of a healthy society. Christians, we as the chosen people of God, must be the shining examples to our families, communities, and nation. That is our station in this wicked world!
I would imagine that many of my readers have, by now, been alienated by the candidness of my writings, and I suspect, by way of my past experiences, that they have even already dismissed them. I urge you now to consider that I am but a vessel of my Spirit, which is the living voice of Jesus through me. I have devoted my life towards the work of His will. I do not urge you to follow me, as I am but a mere man. However, I will say that those who will be embittered by my forceful prose, that your soul is unclean and being led by your worldly emotions. If you despise my ungraceful sense of literary, do so, but know that I wish not to judge you but only to make you more aware of that which I have learned through my own trials and tribulations. I love you, my blessed reader, and only hope to sup with you one day in Heaven at the Fatherís table. I do not wish to personally profit, in any way whatsoever, from my writings and have taken on a life of poverty so that I can be pure at heart, soul, and mind upon delivering my work. You owe me no explanations as to the level of your Christianity and whether you decide to further your involvement in this wicked world ultimately will hinder me in now way, as I will continue my work to enlighten those who need it. I am also in need of further enlightenment in my own walk with Christ! If I have offended you, then perhaps it is your guilt which is in question and I suggest you explore those negative feelings further through self-examination. I pray that my work is a blessing to all those who are brave enough to take to it.
As for those who I have encouraged and inspired, blessed am I to be a part in that but all the Glory will be unto Him who has inspired me to step out of my Christian mediocrity. I exhort you, Brothers and Sisters, to keep reaching for Heaven while you briefly occupy this Earth. We must not wait for death to taste Heavenís bounties! You can empower yourselves through your Spiritual growth! If only you would take a step onto that invisible bridge called Faith, you will be witness to unbelievable miracles and be blessed with an eternal calm, peace, and happiness. I tell you this not in theory, my blessed reader, but through my own experiences. I myself have undergone all the actions that I have asked of you in my writings; therefore putting my own theories into practical use. Though my personal growth has propelled me to many great victories for the Kingdom of Heaven and made my Spirit more acute, I believe that I have only scratched the surface in my personal evolution. If I come across a tad precocious, then my humblest apologies are unto you, but I do urge you to atleast put some stock in my message. I am not a doctor, psychologist, or a best-selling author and lack any worldly certifications nor would I waste my time in the procuring of such titles, but what I may lack in professionalism I have hoped to make up by Faith. That is my only wish in my writings.