This has been a question rolling around in my mind for quite a while now. “God” seems to be alive and well; whatever your view of God is, anyway.
But Jesus seems to be near death.
Approximately 73% of those in the United States claim to be Christian; however, when you look at this country, you have to wonder… just last night on our local news: 2 reports of shots fired on at cars on the interstate in the good parts of town (places where I regularly drive with my family). A report of dog poisoning, and a report of vandalism to at least a dozen cars, the windows busted out with a baseball bat.
I’d say sin is alive and well in our corner of the map.
Yes, we all sin; but…I think the problem is different.
I’ve talked about it before, but it hasn’t gone away. Crime is rampant, abortion rates are down, but babies are still being killed in their mother’s wombs, sex outside of marriage is commonplace and homosexual marriage is in the process of being legalized all over the place.
Back to the statistic of people claiming Christianity as their religion of choice.
If this country was truly 73% Christian, I believe the crime rate would not be so alarming, the divorce rate would not be so high. People would be kinder, road rage would not be so common. The murder rate would be down, etc.
Many years ago, I would have been included myself in this 73% (actually, many years ago, it was more like 86%).
I “believed” in God. I admit, my belief was a little twisted. I had sex before I was married, I got drunk. I thought abortion and homosexuality were okay. Shacking up? Oh yes, no problem. I had the live and let live mentality. In other words, I lived in the world.
But somehow, I believed God created the world and I thought that made me a Christian. Honestly, I can’t really remember what I believed beyond that, as I had been taught evolution in government school and must think that even that belief was a little twisted.
But I know I didn’t LIVE for Jesus. Jesus was nobody to me. God was some “being” out there somewhere that created everything; yet where was he now? I had NO clue, and didn’t really care either. I was living my life for me. Happy misery. I thought I was “free” yet I was in so much bondage I was miserable. Freedom comes in Christ and in Him Alone.
I had never read His book, so I didn’t know any better…I thought “belief” was enough. I think that’s normal. That’s why I’m guessing that 73% of Americans that “believe” in God believe similarly.
But, there’s more to being a Christian than just having a “belief” in God.
Without Jesus, Christianity is non existent.
In fact without Jesus, salvation is impossible.
Scripture says, “At the Name of Jesus every knee will bow” (Phil 2:10)
You MUST have Jesus to have Christianity.
I wrote previously about Jesus being left out of our awesomeness.
But I’m seeing Jesus left out of even more…
Now I love Mandisa, but look at the lyrics of “Overcomer”
Please understand I’m not picking on Mandisa, this is just an example of the trend I see in Christianity. I really do enjoy Mandisa’s music, and has been a great encouragement to me, but I also think Christians need to see and understand this trend.
“The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing he can’t do
He’s telling you
You’re an Overcomer, stay in the fight til the final round.”
“I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you”
While the name of Jesus is implied, it’s not there.
“He” is mentioned, “God” is mentioned, “the one who overcame death” is mentioned
but, the. name. of. Jesus. isn’t.
Now, some might say I’m splitting hairs; I beg to differ.
Names were (and are) important to God the Father. He changed names of those in the Bible when they followed him. Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Saul became Paul.
The name of Jesus is salvation. We are redeemed, justified and sanctified by His blood. Without Him there would be no salvation. There would be the sacrifice of bulls and goats. Which was not sufficient and the reason that God sent His son.
There is power in the name of Jesus. (John 14:14)
We are to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2:38)
Jesus’ name is important!
Too important to be bypassed.
Is His name popular?
Will it evoke emotion in those that don’t believe?
Because that’s what it’s supposed to do. Christ did not come to bring peace to the culture. He came to bring division (Luke 12:49-53).
I’ve been pondering why Christians are avoiding the Name of Jesus. Maybe they think that by avoiding the name, it will make Him less offensive.
I don’t agree.
Maybe they think that avoiding His name, more people will be intrigued to follow Him.
I don’t agree.
Maybe, they aren’t even realizing that they’re avoiding it.
I have to admit, I had to listen closely and really think about it before I realized the name of Jesus wasn’t in the “You Are Awesome” Youtube, I referenced earlier.
Overcomer? It was my husband that pointed out that Jesus’ name wasn’t mentioned. Then I thought about it and was surprised that I had not noticed it.
Maybe those that are avoiding the name of Jesus think implied is enough.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.