What's Christianity All About?

I began my sermon introducing Romans this way two weeks ago. After reading some things about life in the church today, I thought I'd share it with you. For what it's worth.

Let’s send a few imaginary fact-gathers out in search of an answer to that question.

One is going to visit a Christian bookstore. He comes back after a few hours and reports that Christianity is about having a life that is purpose-driven, about being fulfilled, about learning to believing in yourself so that you can live your best life now. It’s about fixing the family, about rising above life’s difficulties. Even Bibles are being targeted for different needs. His conclusion: Christianity must be all about self-improvement.

Another of our friends turns on the TV. She watches for several hours, noticing that those who claim to be Christians are well-dressed, though the women look like Dolly Parton on a bad hair day. When you ask what she’s learned about Christianity, she says that Christianity is about how God wants to have you drive a nice car, to pay your bills, to make you prosperous. He doesn’t want you sick, and he can make you well – but of course you have to send in that special seed offering. Christianity, says our second fact-finder, is all about being successful.

Still another person is watching a different set of TV programs. He is hearing a about how Christians need to reclaim America. He hears about homosexuality, abortion, and other kinds of social ills, and how those bad liberals, mostly democrats, want to remove any vestige of God from our public life. Christians are called on to protest, to stand up for their rights. Christianity, says person number three, is about being conservative.

Our last fact-gatherer decides to go right to the source. So he visits a conference on church life. After all, Christians go to church, so he might found out something there. He sits through speaker after speaker who talk about being appealing to the seeker, about being non-offensive and not using messy words like sin or blood, about being positive so that no one is offended. Christians should be affirming, warm, tolerant and culturally hip. Our fourth person says:
Christianity is all about being relevant.

While our four friends are talking amongst themselves, trying to sort this out, a small old man holding some parchment joins them. He holds up the first page and begins to read (read Romans 1:1-6). When he is finished he looks at them and says, “I wrote those words in a letter to some Christians in Rome. And here is the answer to your question. Christianity is all about the Gospel.”


Anonymous said...

That was such a cool article and I found it inspirering! My friend is mad at me cause she thinks i'm forcing her into christianity and this is really gonna help change her mind.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen! I'm writing about this one, too. Peace.

Kristen said...

Awesome!!! What a succinct indictment of pop Christianity in all its forms.