The Danger of Playing the Game

Recently I was reminded once again of the danger we as Christians face in playing the religious game. In scripture there is never any indication that faith should simply be one part of our life just like the other parts of our life like family, work, school, hobbies, etc. The New Testament speaks about Christians being new creations, the light, dead to sin, alive to Christ, and Jesus calls His followers salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16). There is something significant that I believe has been lost to the majority of Americans who call themselves followers of Jesus.

The New Testament continually uses this idea that the follower of Jesus has been changed at the core of who they are through faith in Jesus. The Christian is not like salt or light, or salt or light at certain times in certain situations; Christians simply are salt and light. It is simply who a Christian is and should be played out or demonstrated in all areas of a Christians life.

This brings me to the danger I was reminded of recently. I was reading an article by John Hicks who is the leading spokesman of the Pluralistic movement. Pluralism is the idea that all religions are a way of different perspectives you could say of understanding the same great ultimate reality or God. It does not take one of great intelligence to see this idea has many great holes in it as the world’s major religions tend to make exclusive truth claims.

As I read Hicks work I found myself so disappointed, not in Hicks, but in the western version of Christianity that dominates America and Europe. At the core of Hicks argument against any religion, especially Christianity, making an absolute exclusive truth claim such as one can only be made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, is that not one religion produces followers that demonstrate a change in life that warrants such a truth claim.

How sad is it that someone could come to the conclusion that Christianity could not possible be ultimately true because essentially no one is tasting any salt or seeing any light? Is this Hick’s fault? In addition, I picked up a book titled “Unchristian” that was put out by the Barna Research Group that takes a look at the 16-29 year old generation that has a basic mistrust and dislike for Christianity. Here is the thing, what they have found is not because these people do not know any Christians it is because they do that they mistrust and dislike Christianity. Hicks actually claims to be born again Christian and through his years of being a Christian and church attendee comes to a pluralistic conclusion.

My question then is, who are you? Are you a new creation? Are you salt or light? Are you truly dead to sin and alive to Christ? When will we quit playing the religion game and finally start being who we are? Will the world continue to view Christianity as false, view it with distrust and dislike because of us? When will we quit trying to be a better Christian and simply BE A CHRISTIAN?

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