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Have some Christians lost the way?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Anton LaVey, High priest and founder of the church of Satan has this to say: “ I think that the worst thing about Christianity is its gross hypocrisy which is the most repugnant thing in the world to me. Most Christians practice a basic Satanic way of life every hour of their waking day, and yet they sneer at somebody who has built a religion that is no different from what they are practicing, but is simply calling it by the right name’. (A C Lehman and J E Myers, Magic, Witchcraft and Religion, Mayfield Publishing Co, 1989, p 394).
Alister McGrath, in his book The Twilight of Atheism, Rider, 2004, p 274, makes the following statements that fortifies the above quotation: “Paradoxically, history strongly suggests that those who are attracted to atheism are first repelled by theism. What propels people toward atheism is above all a sense of revulsion against the excesses and failures of organized religion.... The existence and appeal of atheism in the West is thus largely derivative, mirroring the failings of the churches and specific ways of conceiving the Christian faith”.
We know from church history (B K Kuiper, Church History, WM B Eerdmans, 1951, The Church in the Middle Ages, p 48-156), that it was guilty of many excesses, like the desire to rule over the secular monarchs (see the battle between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV (p 108-115). Many people instinctively feel that it is not the way Christ did it, and become cynical.
Closer home, a general accusation leveled against Christians is that they say one thing and do another. On Sunday they are angels, and on Monday demons. Why is it? Without going into too much detail, it might be that people are confused between religion and relationship. Accepting that one belongs to a church and has accepted Christ, gives false security. Christianity is about a relationship to the living God, and preparation for a future eternal life. This does not only have to do with having a hope of being in heaven one day, it entails daily living according to God’s Word. God is testing believers to see whether they really accept His Lordship. Will they be obedient to Him for all eternity, since loyalty to the ruler of a country is basic? A believer who confesses allegiance to Christ, but on Monday starts doing business contrary to what he confessed on Sunday, does not understand Jesus’ words: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21). What Jesus meant by this is: do not only profess the Word of God, but also do it. God is not convinced of our obedience by intentions only. By doing the good deeds, more people would be attracted to the wonderful message of the Gospel.
John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
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