I’ve been mulling over a lot of issues lately; looking at the lives and hearts of christians and wondering whether we are really any different from unbelievers. I’ve also been reading Ted Dekker’s Slumber of Christianity.

I know that the incorruptible seed of God that is in us. Also the righteousness we have in Jesus that is entirely by grace and irreversible. I also acknowledge that we will never truly attain the apogee of God’s image until the afterlife. Much of what we do now is a seed towards when we come back to earth to finally live the life we were meant to and reign with Christ. Heaven will not house us forever. There will be a new heaven and earth and we will come back to earth. But, in the meantime, some things bug me.

It would seem that there is a sharp divide in the church. You have the “churchy/holy” types who seem far removed from the issues of this world and spend most of their lives in church. They really don’t impact the world/economy/political space or lives of the unchurched – hence not fully actualising God’s command to “occupy until i come” – a political/economic term in the original language.

They also do not inspire unbelievers to want to be like them. At the other extreme are the “carnal christians” – believers who are so unserious/entrenched in a stubborn extreme liberty doctrine as to be mistaken for unbelievers. I worry we don’t have too many contemporary christians who are sound internally, love God and yet can command the economic/political space. And if we do, we’re not talking to/hanging out with/encouraging one another.

We have many hypocritical Peters ( cf. his double standard on the uncircumcised believers), but few intellectual Pauls or Daniels or politically powerful Josephs. I recognise that being born again does not change a mindset overnight or cultural barriers. If a man is simply not brilliant, interested in business, lazy or unexposed, he won’t change overnight, just because he became a christian. He will most likely still fail in business unless God takes a special interest.

Sometimes I think that most people who do well in the world and are born again, had the potential/personality BEFORE they became born again (e.g Paul). Being born again simply accentuated it. And those who hide in church were simply the unexposed, condemnatory, thou-shalt-not, shy types before they became born again. Being born again simply provided a further excuse to be “exclusive”.

My main concern however is this – if you take a look around – we (christians) seem to do just about everything unbelievers do. We have the same problems, use the same solutions, don’t have much more faith, our prayers rarely move mountains, we drink like they do, go to the same clubs, have sex like they do, make out like they do, read the same things, watch/listen to the same things, talk like they do, watch porn like they do….WHATS THE DIFFERENCE?

I think something is critically missing, because it’s not an overnight phenomenon. I talk to a lot of christians and really, most do not have a personal, cordial relationship with God. They simply do not know him for real. He doesn’t talk to them specifically (even through the word/Spirit) they don’t know his mind, he doesnt direct them, influence their decisions/actions. They’re dissatisfied like everyone else, unhappy, worried, stressed….They spend so much time praying/fasting without commensurate output. It’s like toiling with minimal results. They envy people who seem to be making it more than they do and condemn them by saying it’s because they’re compromising or using ‘juju’.

Beyond church, beyond the crowd, beyond the traditions…we may need to reexamine the fundamentals of our relationship with God and the amount of his influence/power in our lives. Nemo dat quod non habet – you cannot give what you don’t have. And perhaps, it is true that “garbage in, garbage out”. There are times i know i’ve ingested too much of the world and need a break from it all to recharge/refill. What i hear, see, dwell on truly affect me – maybe it’s because am a words/sound/thought person. We seem to think we can hang around people who really don’t love God and somehow impact them, win them over, forgetting that “evil communication corrupts good manners”. We may win them over, but unless we have other sources feeding us, building us up, strengthening us, invariably the “corruption” will erode who we are and we will change around them.

We need to build a strong network of people who love God/his word. Or else, the world will simply overwhelm us. Family is so important. God takes particular interest in families. The church is essentially a family. We need strong surrogate families and friends who stick closer than brothers, hence become family. Without this structure, we will begin thinking/acting like the world and it will happen quite normally.

Beware the day we start thinking they are normal and we are the odd ones out – the ones who need to get with the programme, conform, chill out. I know that i am gradually despairing, losing my mind, testing waters that are poisonous to my belly, so perhaps maybe this is as much a cry for help as it is a collection of thoughts. I simply cannot remember the last time i had a sensible discussion about God/his word or spent quality time with serious christians who aren’t ashamed to be. If i didnt have a strong church, some core friends and conscientious colleagues, i would be crazy by now. Perhaps in that regard, God saves me each day. But some people are truly alone out there. Some will shrug this off as another lengthy diatribe. Others will do something. May God in his infinite mercy show us the way. Amen.

9 Thoughts to “Contemporary Christianity”

  1. You have touched on what a lot of people would consider “dangerous waters” and many of us will really have to take stock of who we really are and what we really stand for.

    Its become all to easy to be drawn back into the world as we are continually surrounded by appearances of evil to put it mildy. Everything we see or interact with (ie music, film and television and lets not forget those scantily dressed unilag chicks – God bless them ) tells us its ok to sit on the fence or maybe take a trip to the “dark side” if only for a while, afterall Gods’ grace abounds and we can repent afterwards.

    My dear, its time for all us xtians to take a stand and in one strong voice say enough, i remember an interview wih the president of MTV when the reporter asked about the influence they had over the 8-25 year olds, the man stopped the reporter and said we dont influence them…we OWN THEm. Where are our physical “owners”, where are the people we are supposed to look up to when our brightest stars like paula white and huanita byrnum are falling prey to the pressures of the world.

    My solution is to think inward….settle the battlle that rages within before reaching out to do battle in concert with the world. We should come toghether, encourage one another and stand firm in our belief that it is possible (with Gods’ grace of course) to be a part of this world, influence it, but not in it.

    May God grant us the wisdom to know what is right

    The will to choose it

    and the strength to make it endure.

  2. well, to be honest i havent been a “true christian” or frequent “church goer” in a while. i guess i got distracted by all what you have described.thats no excuse of course. some of “us” havent gotten to that position when we could be dubbed “born again” or any other form of it be it carnal or true. i hope to be what God wants me to be some day and i hope i get there before HIS retun.

  3. ShoSho,
    ur write up on contemporary xtianity is the greatest expression to thoughts that have longed bugged me, i’ve never tried finding words to describe the thots but ur write up defines, expands and focuses the thots….just one thing stands missing; I wish your suggestion of a solution was as precise and detailed as the expression of the problem…
    It’s so strange that xtianity has gradually evolved into two extremes….the extreme churchy type would have been safer to roll with but just a slight attempt to get closer and u see it’s all drama. there’s so much acting and playing church, eventually they’re not only removed from the issues of this world but also removed from the realities of Christ.
    The other ”grace preachin” extreme has explained sin so much, gotten busy becoming relevant on earth and forgotten the good old ”kingdom message”….at times, i feel we need to hear the good old messages that talked abt heaven, the kingdom of God and even hell.
    I guess u summarised it all; ”love God and yet command the economic/political space”…….I’d just like to add the word social to the space we’re commanding.

    We all need to encourage each other, it’s grossly needed…we’d be suprised at the rate christians turn to stark unbelievers for counsel and advice, if it was just business advice, bad enuf….but it’s gone as far as marriage advice, child raising advice, social advice and d list goes on. A lot of us christians cld find Christ in church but we need to find normal regular laughter, fun and smile outside church…worse still, outside churchlike folk. Even when the fun is from christians, it’s cos dt instance, we’re not really remembering we are christians.

    It’d be a good feeling knowing i got a christian behind me to turn to when i need help, good to know i’ll have a christian give me some good old “christian advice” when i’m veering off track. It’d be good to know there’s a christian dt i cld ”hang out” with, to share loads of laughter with.

    The question is how do i stand where i’ll be watched, cheered, supported by christians. Where beyond the traditional mould would i find joy being and being among christians??????

  4. Hey so some of us think we were so well brought up in great xtain families, we have stopped showing love to others, we tend not to have a heart and in all, we get so frustrated because we refuse to thank God in every situation, I just saw about 8 pictures of how ‘Okadas’ are used in Vietman. You would but not thank God when you see them – need a copy mail me – spencersoyemi@yahoo.com – subject – Vietnam

    Why is it that we can’t get the whole point of being a xtain is to follow the ten commandments? Why do we hide in the shadow of ourselves?

    We should start networking as xtains and preach the word to others to love God. I think we need more xtain hangouts, not just the house fellowship, church and you don’t want to get all religious at work syndrome.

    I think we should looking into chains of hangout for xtains, I am too proud to stand up for God, would you do that for Him.

    If there are any investors out there, this is hightime we have a non-smoking club, with TBN on cable and non alcholic drinks being served, with Tarts, Cakes and other healthy meals. Yeah I am sure some of you feel stupid ordering for a coke at the club, and you’ll should stop the “I have never been to a club” look. Na grace!!! Some go and stumble big time, some go observe and don’t lose their cool to the devil.

    I have had a friend by the name Femi Akinware, he so makes xtain living wonderful in my sight, he uses what God has given him to pull people to Christ without being nasty and Holier than thou, or even saying if you don’t attend my church you don’t have REALM. I envy the s.h.a.r.e program of http://www.tosynbucknor.com – when can we have something like that for xtains.

    Shosho the Lord sure must have opened your eyes to have written such a great one and I think we should all pass it on. Go on soun, don’t relent as the Lord leads you fire!!! Awa leyin re bi family 24.7.365

  5. This is really well-written and encapsulates something that’s been on my mind but I haven’t been able to express. Like you said, what’s the difference? Where is the dynamism, the authority, the ‘soundess’ (as you put it), the strength and love that we are supposed to have? We really do need to rouse ourselves and be who are called to be. Anyway, you’ve said it all – the challenge is out there for me to take up… thanks for pointing me to your blog by the way.

  6. hmmm sobumi.. among thorns is wat i will like to call it, but really lets face the issues,as much as i dont thing pastors and bishops especially of pentecostal churches are infalliable, though in most cases they project themselves as that, have the responsibility to teach right doctrine, i think a drift to health and welth gospel or bread and fish gospel as against blood and flesh of christ, a drift from virtues such as meekness, patience, kindness etc to rather spiritual gifts, tongues, healing etc as the core of the christian mesage and blessings as against broken and contritie spirit…has left christians just chasing for blessings, money prosperity and ultimately the reality of the life after has lost its meaning everyone wants to acheive all hear, the attitude almost damns paul for beliving that to absent from the body is great gain, and to count all of lives successs as dung has lost its meaning, this very things are at the center of christian teachings this days, worldiness has overtaken quest for pure spiritual milk, i do not mean to conote that christian should not live a good life, but a good life is not what christianity is all about as painful as it may sound, christ says..see in this world we will have many trouble..but be of good cheer i have overcome d the world..maybe the qst is what is overcoming the world? i belive its a promise of absolute salvation when the time comes, christians find it had to adjust to calamity i think it borne out of a rather myopic view of life and eternity, paul speaks of his trials and hardship and points where they despaired for their soul..these themes are missing today,rather all we think is what we can get.. i also belive in relevan christianity or i wnt be doing what im doing now..but i think relevance may cost us ourlives as it may make the society a better place.. may not give us wealth but clearly will achive Gods purpose in our lives..as the core of it certainly is to live to glory of God..i also no a rendition of hebrews where pple only read ..and by faith subdued nations etc and not read that others where killed and sawn into two,others walked around inflicted all waiting for a better life or promise ahead..key is we are not home yet christians must reconcile that factwe r nt in a hury to go and we must not be too comfortable to stay. lastly scripture says that by his divine promises we may escape the corruption in the flesh.. promises of etrnal life ,eternity and the fact that this life is for a short wile definetly…its not easy yoke..but its completely the message!but….im still wondering y we r like seeds among thorns..choked by wordliness..lord have mercy on me!
    kasim sodangi, misakmi@yahoo.com

  7. wow!! dis truly is an eye opener…a reminder to all Christians to remember who they are and Who they serve….may God really help us!!(me especially)

  8. 10.46 AM on Wednesday. As a Christian, should you have been using company time to put up personal blog posts?

    Practise what you preach, dear.

    P.S. Has anyone told you lately that you’re a psycho? This is what I have learned from your blog, “Shosho”. Really? Has anyone told you lately? Cos they should. Really.

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