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The Predicted Collapse of Evangelical Christianity – Part 2


Picture Lisbon/Lisboa/Lissabon Ruins of Igreja do Carmo courtesy of Bert K.

On her Facebook site, Anne Rice wrote this comment on Wednesday:

For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

Five minutes later she added this:

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminst. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanist. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

When Christianity moves away from the Gospel and towards politics and opinion – it becomes something else entirely. It seems that the church is totally at odds with the outside world which it is meant to serve. It seems that there is something of a culture war that has been going on for a while and looks to be coming to a head very shortly. Many are predicting the collapse of evangelical Christianity as we know it – for these very reasons. The staunch viewpoints of the church on homosexuality, abortion and the like, place it at loggerheads with reality. This is what seems to have led Anne Rice to shun the religion which she once embraced. You may also wish to read this article entitled the coming evangelical collapse and The Coming Collapse of Evangelicalism. For more information about evangelical Christianity – check out the following link.

Whatever happened to Christ crucified redemption and knowing the Father's love for you? Why can't we just stick with that? Christianity does have a fellowship aspect to it, but it is also something that is intimate: a one-to-one with our Maker, our Father who is in Heaven. There seems to be a stigma attached to Christianity that many find they cannot shake. There seems to be a need for believers to prove their beliefs, otherwise, they might feel as if the outside world will blame them for following a pointless, ritualistic religion. We should not get caught in the trap of feeling the need to prove what we believe and to justify ourselves. This is nothing more than low self-esteem, shame and guilt. We should never feel the need to force our beliefs on others. We should definitely not stick our noses into politics and the like in the name of serving God, unless we a called to do so and our vocation is in the political arena. Discover what it means to be loved by God for yourself and just allow God to take things naturally from there.

The Predicted Collapse of Evangelical Christianity – Part 1

ruined Irish church

I was browsing the internet today and stumbled upon an article about author Anne Rice who declared that she was through with Christianity.

Someone else posted a link to a different article on Facebook about this subject, entitled Club of Christians sometimes feels too big. This stirred-up something that has been in my heart for a while now, so I thought I’d say something about it here and include some links for your perusal.

It was no surprise to me when Anne Rice stated her reasons for wanting nothing more to do with Christianity. When Christianity becomes merged with politics and opinions, it becomes a toxic mix that totally puts people off and it can become a vehicle for pride and bigotry. It does not matter how justified you feel you are in stating your opinions, it does not matter how scriptural you believe you are; the fact is that when you believe that you are right and everybody else is wrong – it simply annoys everybody around you.

I think the number one reason that so many people dislike Christians, especially evangelical Christians, is that they are so fixated on getting other people to believe the same things they do. Yes, of course, we want other people to accept Jesus – but not in a manner that is forceful and potentially annoying. For too long Christians have been told from the pulpit that it is up to them to win souls for Christ and that they are lazy and uncaring if they don’t. But this can cause Christians to become intrusive and even cocky in their approach to sharing their faith with others. I know that it is important to spread the good news of the Gospel – but it puts people off when Christians become, quite frankly, rude and obtrusive.

Christianity should be something that is amazing, something that speaks for itself. If the Holy Spirit is within us, we can trust in Him to reveal Christ to other people through us. I know this sounds like a cop-out: an excuse to avoid having to potentially embarrass ourselves by sharing our beliefs. But it is not if we truly believe that it is God who lives His life in us and through us.

We should be able to simply relax and allow things to take their course naturally – including witnessing to others. We must trust in those subtle promptings in our heart when sharing something as important as the Gospel because some people might not be ready for it or might be put off if we are too hasty to relate our testimony to them.

Many Christians believe that it is our lifestyle that attracts others to know Christ. But this has been taken in the church to mean that Christians must aim towards living a squeaky-clean lifestyle that is rather unrealistic. I have personally found that people in the world couldn’t give two hoots about how clean a Christian’s life is.

There are many Christians who believe that they must prove themselves and their beliefs to a sceptical world, through achievements. This inevitably leads to the pursuit of the miraculous. I know what I’m talking about here, not because I believe that I “have all the answers”, but because I’ve been through all of this myself. I know what it is like to feel utterly disappointed with your life, to have a low self-esteem and to earnestly desire the approval of others. For such people, the allure of the miraculous is very enticing. In evangelical circles, or perhaps I should say charismatic circles, there is a constant barrage of testimonies about how God moved in an awesome, supernatural manner in someone’s life. Quite naturally, there is a tendency to want to replicate such things in your own life. But is this pursuit of the miraculous realistic and is it necessary? Whilst I believe that the miraculous has its place in Christendom, particularly in ministry, I believe that the life of the average Christian is meant to be lived without a smattering of incredible, supernatural occurrences. Welcome to everyday life people!

Picture Ruined Irish Church courtesy of Qole Pejorian.

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