I have been concerned over the years as I have noticed how little people actually think about the serious things that turn their life and their eternal destiny. Most people seem to be surfers, some are snorkelers, a few do light diving, very few dive to any depths, and the ones that really attempt deep diving are rare.
I had always expected Christians to be different. I expected that the prodding of the Holy Spirit, the empowering of their new life in Christ, and God’s explicit demands in Scripture (e.g. “study to show yourself approved”, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”) would make Christians more serious about thinking about faith and life in general.
That has not been born out in my experience. I see many Christians more excited and discursive about their favorite football team than their understanding of God and Scripture. I was reading a review of the upcoming Veggie Tales movie (The More You Preach, the Fewer You Reach) on ChristianityTodayMovies.com and was disappointed by something Phil Visher said about the Christian audience. My sadness was not because it was a new insight, but because it matched my own long observed opinion.
[Christian moviegoers often] don’t like to think hard. We think, Would someone just come out at the end of the film and tell me about Jesus so I will know it’s a Christian movie?
His opinion about the Christian film audience touches a much deeper problem. I could paraphrase his statement just as easily as:
Christians don’t like or want to think hard. They want someone to just tell them the answer, the solution to their current problem or theological discomfort. Give me the 1, 2, 3 and let me get on with my life.
Very few Christians, at least from my experience, care to think things through, to work out their salvation in fear and trembling, to contend for the faith, even in their own souls, much less in the marketplace of ideas. The current marketplace is dominated by fast food, immediate gratification, and easy solutions. This does not bode well for the future of Christianity, for dealing with the creeping apostasy in our churches, or the blatantly destructive pharisaic behavior of many who are supposed watchdogs of the faith.
One of the reasons I have liked the blogging community is that at least there you can find people who want to think. But even there it is often just a platform for immediacy rather than thoughtful reflection (who reads long posts these days? Are you getting past your word limit right now?).
Jesus asked if he would find faith on the earth when he returned and I often thought it was because faith was destroyed or it was tested and found wanting by most people. Not likely. I now believe it will be surfed away by the mass of Christians who refuse to think more than several inches deep, who want the quick facile answers to their questions, who by their uncritical mental attitude are allowing the creeping apostasy we see today…the failure of the American Episcopal Church is just another canary in the coal mine down the road to the takeover of “another faith”.
Sorry if I sound less than hopeful about this. Maybe God will enlighten me. I hope so, because from where I sit the future does not look all that bright.
Grace and peace.