Home > Church, Culture, Theology > Dear Christian Part 1- What you need to know about the world we live in.

Dear Christian Part 1- What you need to know about the world we live in.

God has been very gracious to Living Hope Church-Maryville (the campus that I pastor) throughout the past year.  In recent months, God has been faithful to glorify his name by bringing people to Jesus and his church and frankly we’ve been having a lot of fun in the process.

Some of our Community Groups are notorious for having more non-Christians in attendance than Christians.  Many of our church-goers are the prodigals of mainline denominations who are sick of or confused by false teaching, are post-modern, non-Christians who had previously never met a Christian let alone attended church, or are college students who were never taught to follow Jesus amidst the cultural backdrop of cheesy youth group Christianity.

As you can imagine, each demographic brings its own experiences, worldviews and perspectives which can leave people with a lot of questions and confusion.  From the conversations that I’ve had with other Christian leaders, I think it’s safe to say that the challenges we’re facing at Living Hope are not unique.  If we’re facing it, you probably are too. Here are 4 of the biggest challenges we’ve faced (typically from those with no church background) and a few biblical responses to them.modern thought 2

1. Christianity and Spirituality are not the same thing. The popularity of movies like The Twilight Saga and television shows like Vampire Diaries has either produced or followed the trend in New Age Spirituality, New Paganism and the occult (witchcraft).

As a result, people are in love with false ideas like the spirituality of all things, the balance of nature and a generic commonality of religions.  Most people believe in a generic god, a generic spirituality and a generic afterlife.  The problem is, a generic god with a generic afterlife offers a generic savior and cannot save from a real hell.  Christianity, on the other hand, is about a specific God who offers a specific salvation to a specific people through a specific Savior (Jesus Christ) and a specific faith. (Romans 10:9; Acts 4:11-12; 1 John 5:11-12; John 3:36)

2. You cannot fit God into your existing worldview. Many newcomers bring the cultural fads of tolerance, relativism, polytheism and anything goes sexuality into the church with them. They often try to get God to be like them, to like the things they like and to view things the way they view them. The truth is, God created the world and everything in it.  He gets to decide how the world should be viewed, the world doesn’t get to decide how God should be viewed. (Acts 17:22-31)

3. Christianity and religion don’t mix. For one reason or another it has become popular to treat religion like an all you can eat buffet, choosing your favorite parts from each religion and leaving the rest.  Before long, people start considering themselves Jewish-Muslims, Buddhist-Christians and Pagan-Catholics.

They try to take Jesus, Mohammed, Vishnu, Krishna, Buddha and Bahaullah and place them on an equal playing field with equal importance, equal power and an equal message.  This might work for other worldviews, but it doesn’t work for the Christian worldview.

Jesus is not equal to the world’s religious teachers and false gods, he is far superior to them.  Jesus will one day be revealed as King of kings and Lord of lords and all the other false gods and false prophets will bow before him, as will you and I. As Mark Driscoll says, “you will either bow before Jesus in this life for salvation or in the next life for damnation.” (Philippians 2:5-11; John 14:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

4. The Jesus you’ve heard of is not the Jesus of the Bible. Most people view Jesus as a good moral teacher, a prophet, a spiritual guru or a lucky charm.  His life will show you what’s right and wrong and his teachings will help you when you’re having a tough time, but he’s either a  mere human or a distant God not a personal savior.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Jesus is not merely a good moral teacher with some insightful teachings.  He is the Lord who rules all things , the God who created and sustains all things, the King who governs justly and the Christ who came to save and restore all things through his life, death and resurrection.  As Tim Keller rightly stated, “you either kill him or crown him, but you cannot ignore him.” (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-3)

When God plucks people out of sin and delivers them into a new life with Christ, they often come with an unbiblical worldview, a fair amount of confusion and a host of questions.  They need a lot of teaching, plenty of patience and good biblical responses to steer them toward maturity in Christ.

What challenges are new Christians in your church facing? 

  1. January 8, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Thanks for your LIKE. I am currently reading a book by George G. Hunter III titled How to Reach Secular People. It was published in 1992 so it is somewhat dated. However he interviewed some of the big names in the mega-church movement so you might find something useful in it for your own ministry. May you continue to reach people not served by other ministries.

    • January 8, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      No problem. Thanks for the book recommendation! I’m a big reader and I love helping people far from God meet Jesus, so I’ll have to check it out.

  2. January 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Amen! I especially liked the part about the Jesus you have heard about and the real Jesus. Excellent touching points!

  3. 1cross2bear
    January 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    i enjoyed the video and reading and listening some here reminded me of my own son whom is now out of college. May you be blessed by his testimony… from baseball pitched to being humbled and changed….The Lord bless you~

    • January 22, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      That’s quite the post you’ve got there. I’m encouraged by what the Lord has and is doing in your life and family. Be blessed!

  4. marydekokblowers
    January 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Thanks for swimming against the tide and speaking out on New Age beliefs. Why is it that Christians are viewed intolerant, when non-Christians are intolerant of us? Has God hardened their hearts/seared their consciences/blinded them to the truth (John 12)?

    • January 23, 2014 at 7:10 AM

      Not a problem. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. In my opinion, Christians are viewed as intolerant simply because people love their sin more than God. Since people hate God they will naturally hate those who represent him.

  5. ronboviscous
    January 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Very nice, Trevor. I’m currently writing a book for both Christians and non-Christians alike titled “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss”. Although I’m an ordained minister, I don’t push to defend man-made doctrine but answer very real questions and help people apply God’s ways (not man’s) in their lives. I’m 2/3 done; the plan is to publish this year. I think it’s something you may appreciate and be able to collaborate on. Email me at ron@ronbraley.com if you’d like to see a copy of the current draft. Blessings. rb

  6. You Know I'm Right
    January 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Thank you for the LIKE on my blog post re: Glenn Beck, Sadly. God bless you!

  7. February 7, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    You’ve saI’d what so many churches won’t say, loved it!!!

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