Skip to comments.God's Big Problem with Christians-In-Name-Only
Posted on 05/04/2015 3:26:20 PM PDT by NYer
In the book of Revelation, when Jesus catalogues the problems in each of several churches he gives a lot of great advice. Some churches need to hold fast to what you have others need to return to your first love.
But when he comes to the church of Laodicea, he has nothing good to say:
I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 4:15-16).
Jesus prefers bad Christians to nominal Christians Christians who struggle and fall and get up instead of Christians who drift along.
Let us count the way nominal Christians are a problem.
Nominal Christians are the hardest to reach with the Gospel message.
To those who once believed but do no longer, Jesus Christ is either embarrassing or irrelevant. Jesus is like your Uncle Bob that uncle you met a few times in childhood but didnt keep up with. You remember him with a pang of conscience for not sending a Christmas card or with overwhelming indifference.
Nominal Christians think of Jesus that way. Have you ever noticed that, nowadays anyway, lapsed Catholics talk about Catholic guilt way more than practicing Catholics?
Practicing Catholics have a quick way to kill guilt: confession. Only those Catholics who have abandoned the sacraments stay guilty. Either that, or they have hardened themselves against guilt. That makes it impossible for them to hear the truths of the faith they hear them not as a freeing pathway, but as echoes from a regrettable past.
Nominal Christians give the world a false sense of the strength of the Church.
I have long been haunted by a comment a priest once made: The 1950s were the apex of Christian civilization in America. We need to get that back.
He was wrong tragically so. The 1950s strike me as a time when people were painfully embarrassed about Christianity, even though I suppose most Christians then wouldnt dream of renouncing the faith. The cultural icons of respectability were faithless: Ozzie and Harriet, the Cleavers and the Kramdens never prayed or went to church.
One gets the sense from those shows that people thought our society should be strong and good, but need not be Christ-centered. In fact, Ward Cleaver and the Honeymooners imagined no religion in exactly the same way John Lennon did.
Successive generations of TV families, those families who imitate us and vice versa, did the same from The Bradys to the Cosbys to Everybody Loves Raymond, religion never made anything more than a cameo appearance.
The fact that each of these families would probably identify themselves as Christian didnt show the strength of Christianity it showed the weakness of Christianity. The American culture they created allowed people to be satisfied good Christian folk without Jesus.
Nominal Christians give us a false discouragement about our declining numbers.
Christians often feel disappointed that we live in a time of quickly declining membership and church attendance. Its true:
But we probably misunderstand what is going on.
The numbers dont tell us: People used to believe, but now no longer believe.
Instead, they tell us: People used to have to say they believe, but now they can be honest.
The American Religious Identification Survey that inspired Newsweek to write its cover story on The Decline and Fall of Christian America certainly showed the drop in people who go to church services or associate themselves with a denomination. But it also showed something else. Said the survey:
Most of the growth in the Christian population occurred among those who would identify only as Christian, Evangelical/Born Again, or non-denominational Christian. The last of these, associated with the growth of megachurches, has increased from less than 200,000 in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2001 to over 8 million today. These groups grew from 5 percent of the population in 1990 to 8.5 percent in 2001 to 11.8 percent in 2008. Significantly, 38.6 percent of mainline Protestants now also identify themselves as evangelical or born again.
Ed Stetzer explains the phenomenon here.
In His request to St. Faustina to celebrate a Novena, Jesus chose the ninth and final day for "Lukewarm Souls"
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
Jesus prefers bad Christians to nominal Christians//
then I’m safe :) I try though. then go to confession.
I object to the Honeymooners reference. He specifically says they’ll be late for church in one episode.
**Nominal Christians think of Jesus that way. Have you ever noticed that, nowadays anyway, lapsed Catholics talk about Catholic guilt way more than practicing Catholics?**
LOL! Do we have an abundance of them here on FR!
One of my sisters belongs to a group that she has never met, and that she refuses to name, but she keeps trying to convert me and is intensely hostile toward Catholicism.
She receives a download from this group on her computer each week.
The only time there are no nominal christians is when christians are being persecuted.
I can only relate my experience. I was committed Christian and then drifted away from attending church after I went into the Army, except for when I when home on leave. In retrospect I had an identification that was linked to the actual church and congregation I grew up in. I went a couple of times to find a congregation, but didn’t find anyone who was willing to greet me, even after I had attended 2-3 weeks in a row. Some years, after our first child was born and a reassignment back in the states. I went looking for a congregation; found one; was welcomed the first time I visited and it has been my church home ever since. A couple of elders took me “under their wings” and through them my faith grew and I was “reborn” in understand Christianity, my personal faith and participation.
I forgot to mention that we are Catholic. We all were at one time, at any rate.
and if you are interested in a more detailed account of my spiritual journey: http://framl.tripod.com/id19.htm
I must admit that I finally withdrew from the choir a few years ago.
We know that type. They’ll baptize their children and go to church once in a while, but they don’t really believe.
I don’t think that my sister ever introduced her children to Catholicism. At one time, she was a good Catholic, but she married outside the faith.
Not surprisingly, the marriage was a failure.
What is a "good Catholic?"
Prayers for your sister.
God is not followed, thus not worshiped, by those to elevate their profits like Mohammed and Jesus to godlike status and then proclaim themselves followers of their prophet. A Christian will tell you that you cannot worship God alone but must also include Jesus, and if you claim to being only a follower of God that you are really worshiping Satan/Evil. Sad those gatekeepers of the prophet cults will reject you at a minimum, and both will condemn you to death, one immediately and the other eternally. Take about strong conversion-medicine.
Our pastor would always harangue these so-called nominal Christians by saying, “If you don’t really believe in your heart, mind, and soul, then what are you doing here, you’re wasting your time.” I haven’t been back.
I can’t picture God having problems. Man has plenty of problems though.
What a shame— as though you can get faith by trying hard. It’s a GIFT.
One of my favorite passages from Scripture:
“I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief!”
My daughter goes to a politically liberal church. I can tolerate it because the teaching is Bible-centered. They just like being on that side of the political world.
But an unredeemed person cannot tolerate true Biblical teaching. They will recoil from it. It will drive them away. In short, a CINO can be identified by watching how they respond to Biblical teaching.
My own pastor cannot tolerate parts of the Bible.
Thank you, Salvation.
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