Socially I would say yes; spiritually I would say ineffectually! Yet, God’s Word declares we are light and salt in the world and all things are possible in Jesus’ name.
Most believers I meet around the world hold to Jesus the Nazarene. You’ve seen Him; He’s on Sunday school posters with a lamb in His arms. Jesus today is – the Lord of Lord and King of Kings riding on a white horse with a war sword in His mouth going forth conquering and to conquer, Revelation 19:11-16. I don’t know about you, but this is the omnipotent Jesus I am learning to serve.
Jesus’ participation in influencing the world is absolute; our participation is limited. It is limited by our faith and religious theology. Religion demands a mountain of theology before we believe in ministering in the name of Jesus and thus we revert to social Christianity, which denies the Holy Spirit and all that He is and can do in our lives. Faith on the other hand requires only space the size of the fraction of a mustard seed in disciple’s hearts and mountains move.
Please do not think this thought trite because it is fact. Every day we live by faith and get in taxis, board trains, ride buses and fly in planes without ever checking the licenses of the drivers or pilots. We make appointments with doctors, dentists, lawyers and medical specialists without ever asking to see their certificates. And yet, when it comes to faith in Jesus why, we have more faith in our governments to sustain and empower us!
So it goes with social Christianity. Most people in Western cultures look around and choose some nice little building on the corner or go back to their parent’s religion when there happens to be some spiritual need. They address their spiritual needs by social standards. Few will ever have an encounter with God in such environments and nor will they abandon the security of the pews for the call of God to influence the world night and day.
Only the kingdom of God residing in the hearts of God fearing disciples makes a difference to the world and people in it. Social Christianity merely entertains them; only the kingdom of God changes them. Sadly the world is not being changed because religion, has replaced faith. The faith I am referring to is the faith that has never changed since the first century and is INCLUSIVE OF active spiritual gifts as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Cor. 12:11). Anything less than such simple faith is social religion no matter which way you cut it.
God is not looking for super faith heroes – there are none of those in the Bible! What we discover in the Old Testament and in the New Testament are weak believers, whose sins are revealed and yet, with miniscule faith make themselves available to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He and they achieve God’s impossibilities.
Bob Chapman MA