Wisdom Means Sitting Under Gifted Teachers and Wise Counselors
So if the vast majority of "Christians" can't pass the test of having actions that testify to their being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, how can the church persuade others that a decision for Christ is going to be beneficial to them?
Christian evangelicals are a small proportion of the national population, representing just 7% of the adult mass. However, they are the group whose faith is most clearly evident in their behavioral choices. The survey divided the population into five faith segments (evangelicals, non-evangelical born again Christians, notional Christians, adherents of non-Christian faiths, and atheists/agnostics). Evangelicals emerged as the group most likely to do each of the following:
Evangelicals were also distinguished by being the segment least likely to engage in the following endeavors:
- discuss spiritual matters with other people
- volunteer at a church or non-profit organization
- discuss political matters with other people
- discuss moral issues and conditions with others
- stop watching a television program because of its values or viewpoints
- go out of their way to encourage or compliment someone
There is a strong connection between the faith views and practices of evangelicals and their lifestyle. Evangelicals also emerged as the group most likely to attend church; pray to God; and read the Bible. By definition, they believe in the accuracy of the Bible, contend that they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others, claim that their religious faith is very important in their life, reject the idea that Jesus Christ sinned, describe God as the Creator who still rules the universe today, and believe that Satan is real. That body of beliefs - and the worldview it represents - has produced a distinct way of living in an increasingly postmodern culture - a lifestyle that is increasingly at odds with the accepted norms.
- contact a political official
- view pornographic media
- read their horoscope
- use tobacco products
When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is nothing to the religion business except, perhaps, business - and dishonest business at that. Insiders see it differently. Just as the hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It is similar with sinners outside the church.
So Christian churches are not, as a rule, model communities of good behavior. They are, rather, places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open, faced, and dealt with.
|One of my favorite churches. Kihei, Maui|
|Model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ|
|The bible used by Abraham Lincoln for his oath of office during his first inauguration in 1861. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|