This is the conclusion of a three-part article on why 'American Christianity' is failing. Read part 1 here. In this post, we examine what can be done to strengthen Christianity in America. Download a copy of the full article here.
What Can We Do to Help?
I told you I wouldn’t sugar coat this. But I don’t want to leave you depressed or with a false impression of “gloom and doom.”
The power of the gospel—the power of GOD to transform lives—it lives! And it is just as powerful today as it was on Pentecost in 30 A.D.
The world’s system may be attractive for a season, but it is hollow and offers no real answers or meaning for life. Eventually, people see that.
And these dips in societal interest in Christianity are often succeeded by periods of revival.
So what can you and I do to strengthen Christianity in America (or wherever you may live)?
1.) Pray Diligently for the Country
We need GOD to work desperately. Individually, we can’t do this (or anything, really) by ourselves. The power is not in us. The power is in the gospel.
We need to pray for our existing leaders. We need to pray for GOD to send us godly leaders. We need to pray for GOD to give us wisdom, discernment and understanding, and to remove the spirit of stupor that is clouding our people’s minds.
And I think we need to pray for GOD to work within the scientific community to show that He and Scripture are not opposed to the scientific method, and to expose the difference between that scientific method and the wild fantasies that are so commonly taught as fact today.
Societies have always had widely-held myths that have been disproven over time. From the angry god that wants us to sacrifice a child to appease it, to the world being flat, to those crazy-looking stork-like masks doctors wore in medieval times to ward off bad smells and scare off evil spirits, to the idea that humans descended from apes over millions and billions of years—every generation has had them and, I suppose, will continue to have them.
What I find humorous about this is that within a specific generation, these myths are widely accepted as fact. And generations later, people look back and laugh about how silly people were to believe such. Yet, we never learn the big picture lesson and continue perpetuating the mistake.
But we need to pray for our country. Only GOD can solve problems this big.
2.) Love GOD with All Your Being
It starts with us. If we are to make a positive impact, we must love the LORD wholeheartedly ourselves.
Examine ourselves. Have I loved GOD wholeheartedly? Repent, if needed.
Commit to putting (and leaving) Jesus on the throne of your life.
Walk with GOD from here forward.
3.) Avoid Hypocrisy
The biggest case the world has against Christianity is the duplicity of those who claim to be Christians.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you sin, confess it—even to non-Christians if the situation dictates it (i.e., if they witnessed your sin).
Authentic Christians make a huge difference in the world around them because they are recognizable. They stand out from the world because they are different, noticeably different.
Be an authentic Christian.
The world needs to see that example, perhaps more now than ever.
4.) Prove You Love Others
Jesus said that the world would know His disciples by how they love others (see John 13:35).
We demonstrate our love for others in how we speak and behave to them. Think about how you’re doing in this regard.
As a small example, when someone irritates you while you’re driving, do you angrily lay on the horn or throw your hands up, wanting them to know you’re displeased with what they did?
Demonstrating love to others is often done in the small things. Pray to seek GOD’s help in surfacing these opportunities so that you might take advantage of them.
And remember that Jesus’ love was / is without strings. In other words, check your motives to make sure they’re pure. Don’t do something loving for someone just so you might have the opportunity to invite them to church, for example.
5.) Speak Up (Lovingly)
Christians need to be more vocal.
We’ve become soft in our complacency—self included. The Christians of the first three centuries (and in some places, still today) faced threats of physical suffering and death if they preached Jesus. And we’re over here all timid because somebody might say something about us or not be our friend anymore.
Ask GOD to give you a spirit of boldness.
Authentic Jesus-like love speaks up.
It’s interesting. People today often pretend Jesus hung out with sinners and was just like, “Hey, man, whatever you want to do. Come be my buddy and it’s all good.” (This is a form of idolatry, by the way—inventing a savior after our own character.)
But, while Jesus did warmly receive and associate with sinners, it was always for the purpose of turning them from their sins, not accepting them and leaving them in their sins. We have absolutely lost an appreciation for the biblical concept of sin and its ugliness.
Before you speak up, though, make sure your life reflects your words. Remember, no more hypocrisy.
Authentic Jesus-like love speaks up in a loving way. Ensure your delivery communicates the love that is in your heart.
6.) Commit to Studying the Scriptures (And Stop Regurgitating Tradition)
Each of us has a past which shapes our thinking. For those of us whose past includes church attendance and / or Bible instruction, our current thinking is partially shaped by what we’ve been taught.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my adult life, it’s that what we’ve been taught is so very often different than what the Scriptures really teach.
If you and I are going to love GOD wholly and fully pursue truth, we must:
- Ask GOD to help us.
- Maintain keen awareness as to how and where past religious tradition impacts our perspective and understanding of Scripture.
- Commit to personal diligent study of the Bible, asking GOD to open our eyes.
- Change where we see it is needed.
7.) Teach Your Children
Perhaps our best hope for America is with the next generation. If you and I, as parents and grandparents, recognize the sins of the past, we can begin today with this generation of children, instilling a love for GOD and a desire to know and follow Him.
Allow the past to teach us, pray that we avoid similar mistakes, and build daily.
With GOD’s blessings, we can turn this around. This is how we make America great again.
One Final Note
I feel it is essential that we acknowledge this important truth in closing:
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. America is not GOD’s people. Nor is any other physical nation today.
Just as there are physical citizens of every nation on earth, there are quite likely citizens of Jesus’ kingdom living in every physical nation on earth.
Yet throughout the Scriptures, we see that GOD rules over all physical nations and that His blessings are with those nations that enforce justice, general morality and show concern for the poor, and His discipline often comes upon those nations who do evil.
I write these things because America is my physical homeland, a beacon of freedom, prosperity and opportunity for the world to see. I love this country. For this reason, it is painful and difficult to see what appears so clearly to me to be its crumbling and potential downfall because its citizens rejected the GOD who blessed it so mightily.