In the cultural Christianity series, I tried to highlight the difference between cultural morality and saving faith. Now, as we draw near the end of our teaching series, I want to revisit the topic, albeit in a different way. One of the biggest fields for evangelism today is, strangely enough, “Christians.” Certainly this is not true most places around the world, but in our context, the remnant of the Deep South’s Bible-belt, more people than not still call themselves Christians. Of those, how many believe what you believe – the simple truths of the gospel and the ultimate authority of God’s word? How many go to church vs. hunger for the gospel? How many think of themselves as Christians but never attend church? When those things are considered, we should humbly, yet honestly, confess there are not as many true believers as most people tend to think.
The word “Christian” (like nearly every word in our postmodern times) has become fluid, its meaning constantly being changed and adapted to fit the times. The number of people who “identify” as Christian might be very high on paper but, in reality, is much lower (Matt. 7:13-23). On the one hand, we see many professing Christians not only tolerate but endorse clearly anti-biblical positions (you know the list!). On the other hand, other professing Christians just hold more tightly to a “God-and-country” morality, thinking that what they do will “get me into heaven” or “keep me right with the man upstairs.” (To be fair, all of us, at some point, have fallen into error on either side, and well-intentioned, though confused, believers do indeed exist in both camps.) Even so, neither camp clings in faith to the true standard set forth in God’s word. Therefore, neither camp can offer what so many are seeking in our times, the certainty and stability of absolute truth.
As believers who hold fast to God’s truth as given in his word, we can offer something different, something stable in an ever-changing world. This has been true throughout the ages and remains true in today’s culture. As God’s people, we must stop accommodating the world and begin to stand against it. By no means is this an easy task, yet we must do so if we are to be faithful to our God and Savior. Strangely enough, this is how we “evangelize Christians.” Such evangelism is not a program, does not involve various steps, and requires no missionaries. To evangelize the world around us, we must simply be faithful in what God has already called us to do – to be a peculiar people unto himself, different from the world and unpolluted by it.
I commend the following article to you as you reflect upon how you can evangelize others…
“The End of Accommodation” by Dr. Bruce Little