Much has been said about the state of the American church and our propensity to be distracted, allured to affluence, or encouraged toward various forms of debauchery, but perhaps the greatest threat is modern American Christianity’s inclination toward inactivity. Unfortunately, pew-sitting has been encouraged and promoted by far too many pastors without emphasis on the true calling of the gospel to go – carry your cross and make disciples. Because of this, “church culture” has entered a lull that does not produce bold followers of Jesus but rather lukewarm spectators. Dull faith is a painful thing to both watch and experience, but perhaps the most grievous part may not be the Christian’s personal spirituality as much as the lost people of the Christian’s context.
I have a college student who works part time for me and last week he came into the office sounding like he swallowed a frog and with his nose dripping like a public restroom faucet. He told me that some sort of cold bug had swept his dorm floor and they were all sick. In that living situation there’s nothing do be done. Close quarters mean shared germs no matter what. They couldn’t have avoided each other if they had wanted to. Many Christians, though, act as if this is the proper way to avoid sin, to avoid people who “have” it. But sin isn’t a bug to catch.
When I hear an essentially law-driven sermon, asking the law to do what only the grace of Jesus Christ can accomplish, I am immediately concerned about the preacher. I wonder about his view of himself, because if you have any self-consciousness about your own weakness and sin, you find little hope and comfort for yourself and your hearers in that kind of sermon.
I recently picked up a copy of Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker and was pleasantly surprised at some of the insights. . . . This blog is adapted from the last chapter in the book entitled, “The Power of Stories and Ten Myths about Sex in Emerging Adulthood.” The empirical data suggests that these are not true most of the time. There are exceptions, of course.