I have come to the conclusion, lately, that we live in a “post Christian world.” Sometimes this knowledge sets my teeth on edge, sometimes it breaks my heart. You see, I grew up in the heart of what is popularly called “The Jesus Movement.” Christian music regularly played on pop radio, people carried their Bibles with them everywhere, it was so easy to find a Bible study and very common for a perfect stranger to ask you, “Have you found Jesus?” When I was in high school and even well into the 1980’s, it was cool to be a Christian. So what happened? How did we go from a culture that aspired to serve God to one that both abhors and knows nothing about Him? Where did the Jesus People go? By principal we should have multiplied not diminished. The first thing that comes to mind is the parable of the sower: “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13 20-23 NIV) (If you’d like to read the rest of this parable, look it up!)
So I wonder, how many of us let the cares of the world choke out our love of God? Have we become too wrapped up in our own lives to notice where this world is going? Or too busy to care about the needs of a neighbor? How many of us decided to go after riches, and in money, now find security? If you find yourself sitting, disgruntled, at Cracker Barrel after church on Sunday because your poor waitress got your order wrong, or grumpy in the grocery store because the lines are long and the cashier is too slow, you might be in this category. (what are you doing shopping on Sunday anyway?)
Believe me, I’ve known a fair amount of extremely wealthy people, very few of whom had peace. The next thing that draws my thoughts is how we as Christians approach non-believers. Do we listen, respectfully to what they have to say? Do we understand that now, many of them have never heard the Gospel before, ever? How often do we assume they have any understanding of a Christian world view? How often do we hammer people with our own perception of Christianity when the Gospel, in it’s truest form, offers forgiveness, and a relationship with God.
“But I always preach the Gospel.” I’ve heard this so often. If the you’re “talking Jesus” in a public place, I can almost guarantee that no one is listening. You’re just making noise. Folks, instead of preaching, maybe we should shut our mouth’s and LIVE the Gospel. This is where rubber meets the road. Are we consistent in our speech? Accepting in our love and truthful, but not judgmental, in our answers? We have our work cut out for us. To live Christ in this world is not an easy thing, but this world desperately needs the peace that only Jesus can give. This is a lost generation, but every generation is lost, even the Jesus generation. Where are they? ” The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matt 9:37) Loving this generation unconditional, in action, pointing them to Jesus and allowing Him to make the changes. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1)Lord please make me more like you. Please help me to lead this scattered flock home. ~ Liz Galvano Harshbarger