Maher, Matthew

Matthew Maher.

In 2015, 75% of Americans identified themselves as Christians. I find myself, given the state of America, wondering how that is possible.

When we look at the cultural hostility towards people of faith, add the stat that we kill 1.5 million children in the womb annually, and currently have a Congress that supports killing a child on its way out of the womb, I say something doesn’t add up here.

How about the fact that God created two genders, male and female, and yet, a large majority chooses to stay silent because they fear the cultural pressure to accept LGBTQ, or think accepting it is Christian practice. They reject the language of “sin,” and the understanding that love without righteousness makes the Christian a partner with immorality.

The bottom line is that a large percentage of “Christians” identify with the team name and have some “fan-based” knowledge of Christ, but many don’t have a living relationship with Him and are not authentic followers. They are mere fans.

Today’s nominal Christianity does the worst of all practices. It leaves people lost, yet convinces them they are fine. They walk, talk, and look just like the world, but don’t speak Bible.

Sadly, they don’t know that the Bible speaks. “Indeed, the word of God is living and active...” (Hebrews 4:12).

If truth be told, the only way to not be conformed to the world and its pull is to be transformed by the Word of God daily. In other words, if you call yourself a believer, you will be a follower.

As such, you need to be intentional in divorcing the elements of the world, and renew your union with the Lord daily through studying the Word of God - learning His character and ways.

Of course, this is easier said than done because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and the battle with our inherent sinful nature. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit, changed hearts and minds are inevitable.

Because of our sinful nature, we need to practice vigilance. Since sin has entered our skin, we are either “falling” in love with the world and its ways, or clinging to the cross and allowing the love of Christ to be the sole remover of sin and the greatest mover of the soul.

The apostle, John, would write, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). He would then describe “all that is in the world,” which are the sinful magnetic pulls that attract our eyes, flesh, and heart, otherwise known as the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. These harmful inclinations continually war against the spirit.

That is why we can choose to identify with the term Christian, or be a Christian who follows the risen Lord in a fallen world. Thus, we are worldly or godly, but we can't be both.

ED. NOTE: Maher is the teaching pastor at Coastal Christian Ocean City and is president of Soldiers For Faith Ministries. Social media and website: @TruthOverTrend.