I saw this article earlier today with the headline, "Einstein considered a bigger hero than Jesus, says study." My first reaction was, "How sad." Then I quickly thought, "No wonder why this could be the case."
Here are three reasons why Jesus isn't at the top of people's list of heros today:
- As multiple generations of parents, we've failed to teach our kids to know GOD.
In the book of Judges, we read the following very sad summary of the second generation of Israelites following the conquest of Canaan:
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them.
(Judg. 2:10-14 NIV)
When generations arise who aren't taught to know GOD, bad things happen.
- Because the masses don't know GOD, there is little regard for His word in governing our life and morality.
When people are left to their own wisdom, things do not go well. We humans lack the farsightedness required to make well-informed decisions. We do what we think is right and it doesn't go well.
Again, looking to the book of Judges, we find this sad statement regarding the immoral state of the nation of Israel:
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
(Judg. 17:6 NIV)
This is exactly what is going on today, morally. Everyone does as they see fit. Popular opinion rules the day.
- We've kicked GOD out of schools and government.
Even in the best of circumstances, there is a need for society to assist the teaching of children in the home. There will always be orphans and parents who are temporarily unavailable. And we are reaping the consequences of pushing GOD out of our public environments, such as our schools and governments. We have tried to compartmentalize faith to a small inner-only corner of those who possess it.
Unfortunately, the consequences include increases in crime, violence, hatred, prisons and taxes (if for no other reason than increased police and military resources), among many other negative things.
Watch this short, compelling video from Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen on the importance of religion to democracy.
So, what can you and I do about this?
Here are three things you and I can do to turn things around:
Pray. We need GOD's help to turn this around. We need His wisdom to help us know how we can individually make a difference.
Love others. The best way we can make a positive difference on the lives of other people is to love them—wherever they are. Loving someone means that you seek their best interest. Sometimes, loving someone means telling them something that is difficult to hear. Don't start there, though. Build the relationship first. My brother-in-law Russ says often, "If someone knows you love them, you can say anything to them and it'll be okay." This does not negate the need for tact and good judgment, but focus on ensuring the other person knows you love them—not just that you think they should know that you love them.
Be an authentic Christian. The most damaging thing to the cause of Christ is the hypocritical Christian. No person on earth is perfect, so don't pretend to be. Ensure we project a humble and approachable nature, as Jesus did. But whatever you do, don't claim to be a Christian and then live an unholy, worldly life.
As Paul told the Roman Jewish Christians in the first century:
22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
(Rom. 2:22-24 NIV)
How we live makes a huge difference to the world around us—positively or negatively. After centuries of persecution, the early Christians won over the Roman government in the fourth century. More and more people were drawn to Jesus because they saw those Christians suffer well. Martyr after martyr, beating after beating, property confiscations, etc.
Maintain a long-term perspective. This is not the first dip in human morality in the Christian era. As bad as things are, they aren't as immoral as at other dark periods of history. Remember that GOD is not surprised by what is happening. He is still in control and Jesus still reigns.
Look for ways to make a positive impact.
For more, check out Three Keys to Strengthening Christianity in America.