CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

So Where Are All the Real Christians?

Jul 16, 2015

You gotta wonder sometimes. Where is all the salt and light we are supposed to find whenever Christians are present? Why is there so little godly influence from the Christian churches? Why is Christianity in the West so lacking in any vital transformative power?

For example, in America there are said to be anywhere from 75-100 million evangelicals. That is a lotta Bible-believing Christians: a quarter to a third of all Americans claiming to be born-again believers. But if that is the case, why do we not seem to see any real fruit from that?

With so many folks claiming to be followers of Jesus there, America should be one of the most spiritual, righteous and godly nations on earth. Yet it is quickly becoming one of the most decadent, depraved and degenerate nations on earth. So what gives?

Where is the Christian influence there? Why are these Christians not acting as salt and light? I am not denying that there are many millions of Christians in America. And I am not claiming that they are all useless in service for the Kingdom. Sure, there are plenty of individual Christians and individual churches doing a lot of good all around the place.

But you still have to ask why America seems as if it is just full of pagans and no one else. If there are so many believers there, where is their collective influence? How can America be such a spiritual cesspool when there are so many believers and churches all over the place?

salt and lightHow have they managed to be either silent or missing in action when it comes to some of the crucial issues of the day, such as abortion, or the fight for marriage and family? Why the silence? Why the lack of a clear Christian presence? Why the clear inability to be salt and light when it is most needed?

And remember, it really does not take a lot of people to have an influence – for good or ill. Lenin and the Bolsheviks were quite small in number, but they managed to not only take over an entire nation (Russia) but also led to the domination of large parts of the globe.

In the same way – for good – Wilberforce and his allies were never great in number. There were probably at best a few dozen activists helping Wilberforce as he worked to overturn the slave trade. But even with the numbers against him, he managed to succeed – big time.

And of course Jesus had just a small motley crew of a dozen followers, but they managed to turn the world upside down, and we are still feeling the impact of this even today. So we do not necessarily need large numbers to accomplish mighty tasks (whether good or bad).

But we do need commitment, perseverance and some heroism out there. A few committed believers can make a real difference. Our Lord tends to prefer working that way anyhow. Recall Gideon and his 32,000 troops being pared down to just 300.

God can do great things even if a handful of faithful followers are found in a godless culture. Recall the story of Abraham and Sodom. In Genesis 18:20-32 we read:

Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

God is always looking for a righteous remnant. But will he always find it? As Jesus said in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” I find myself asking that question even now. Where are all the sold-out believers who are making a difference for Christ and the Kingdom?

A recent article caught my attention which asks similar questions. The headline says this: “What if America had as many Christians as it does gay activists?” Now that grabbed my attention right away. How can such a tiny minority group of activists manage to destroy the institution of marriage? Where were all the Christians? Why did they not at least put up a fight?

Let me conclude with the opening half of this article:

3%.
That’s what it took to move America to where it is now.
3%.
That’s all that was required to transition us from a people who at least loosely based their morality on some vaguely understood and appreciated Christian foundation into one that is openly and proudly based on self-centered, self-referential, and self-serving lust.
3%.
That’s how much commitment on the ground was needed to shift us from cheering Wheaties-box Bruce Jenner as an example of All-American masculinity into a people that applauds Vanity Fair cover “Caitlyn” Jenner as the embodiment of “bravery” and “courage”.
3%….3%…3%…
Of all the many great and terrible lessons being taught to us now through the committed, believing, active 3% who have successfully stormed and pillaged the culture, one of the greatest and most important is this: 3% is enough.
With persistence, 3% is enough to move the culture from one extreme to another.
With belief in practice, the dedicated actions of 3% can accomplish what seemed impossible only 10 or 20 years earlier.
With faith in action, 3% can fundamentally change the world.
Let that soak in.
Let it sink in.
As much as it hurts, let it take root.
As much as it stings, let it linger.
As much as it exposes about our laughably non-Christian professing Christian culture in America over (at least) the past 100 years, let it take hold.
Let it speak.
Then ask the question: What if just 3% of Americans were as committed to Christ in action as the 3% who are at this moment dancing on the grave of our dead culture?
What if only 3% of Americans took seriously the comprehensive life- and culture-defining reality of the Gospel-fueled Great Commission?
What if a mere 3% of Americans we consecrated by the grace of God to the propagation of His Kingdom through loving obedience to His crystal clear command to take every thought captive and make obedient disciples of all nations (including – and starting with – our own)? (See Matthew 28:18-20.) What would our law, politics, economics, art, and culture begin to look like then?
Put another way: What if just 3% of those living in “the Christian nation” of America were actually Christians?

Some good questions there. Well worth pondering prayerfully and carefully.

www.firebreathingchristian.com/archives/9674

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18 Responses to So Where Are All the Real Christians?

  • Bill, I agree that we Christians have been pitiful, but it wasn’t just 3% who changed the culture. It was 3% plus the media and a large slice of the US public who either want these changes or only care about their bellies and TV shows.

  • A very sobering article. Thanks Bill.

  • and 3% of Australians would be under 700,000, whereas the last few Census figures have around 70% (but declining) saying they “believe in God” – whatever that means.

    That would mean we only need 1 out of every 24 people in a church to make a difference.

    Well, my humble little Pressy congregation is around 35-40 counting everyone. So we need just two!

    How many would you need out of YOUR church, dear reader?

  • Bill, you are on track again! It is clear to some and not clear to a multitude of others. So many so called Christians are just lip service Christians when the ax has fallen upon the trees. But fail, to show works of protest before the forest have been level. If Christians would have march on Washington to protest instead of marching down the isle to the offering plate just one Sunday, this would not have happen!
    There is enough money in collective churches bank account to provide transportation and housing to every American church member to attent such a gathering.
    “The children of this generation is much more wiser than the children of light”
    If a minister can buy a 70 million dollar jet, what can the rest do!

  • Some clue is to be had from the statement, “3%–That’s all that was required to transition us from a people who at least loosely based their morality on some vaguely understood and appreciated Christian foundation into one that is openly and proudly based on self-centered, self-referential, and self-serving lust,” particularly about the loosely-held nature of the basis of morality. If a rock is teetering on the edge, little is required to tip it right over. Even a small application of force in the correct direction will do the trick, whereas that force has to be a lot stronger to move an object that is firmly and properly founded. The foundations have been eroding for generations–a surface adherence to traditional Christian concepts of morality masked a growing autonomy and satisfaction of self, particularly in regard to sexual practices. And so we have reached the Romans 1:32 stage where sin is not only committed with pride but acclamation.

  • Very sobering indeed.

  • A timely article indeed, just to give it even more traction, consider the homosexual activists, probably less than 3% ( a lot less I would wager) and yet look at the impact they have had upon our society.

    3% is not a lot and there would be Christians who fall into the committed category. It’s doable, perhaps we need some way of getting that 3% to communicate and become organized and a good place to start would be right here.

    Bill what are your thoughts, how do we go about ‘organizing’ the 3%?

    Any thoughts anyone else?

  • Many Christians are saying that ssm is inevitable. It makes my skin crawl, that is playing right into the activists hands. Not over my dead body I say. I believe that if it becomes “legal” it is squarely the fault of apathetic Christians. How can we say an oxy moron becoming “legal” is inevitable? But of course they also say that these people who are pushing for this aren’t under Christ and therefore have no idea. Partly true I say but they have creation to look at if they are really interested in finding out how things work. which I suspect they aren’t.
    Many blessings
    Ursula bennett

  • Right on the button, bill. Your article is best applied when we search our own hearts and whether or not we stand as warriors or as ‘observers’.

  • Bill, the answer here is really very simple. There are precious few, if any, ‘real Christians’ in existence. My experience tells me that very few people who purport to be Christians actually believe what their Bible tells them (if they even actually know), or practice it, and many others are simply in it for the social and other benefits.

    Therefore, it is hardly surprising that so-called ‘Christians’ are not going to stand up for anything that is going to challenge or cost them any of their current comfortable middle-class materialist wealthy western lifestyle.

    We shouldn’t be surprised about this, as when push comes to shove most ‘Christians’ actually do not know much about their ‘faith’, much less really believe anything they might otherwise profess.

    So in summary, 1) they don’t actually believe it – the Gospel, and 2) they’re certainly not going to act on something they don’t really believe anyway if it’s going to threaten their present lifestyle! Sad but true.

  • Hello Bill!
    Thank you for your article about the 3%. How true! I want to be in that number.

    Fred Merlo in his response (17/07?15) asks how do we as Christians get organised. He asks for ideas.

    I’ve got some ideas. Here’s one that ridicules the very notion of so-called gay marriage.

    Banners are an ideal way of getting a message into the public arena. Some are very provocative and make people think. How about a large banner spanning a footbridge across a freeway? Thousands of motorists going to and from work pass under footbridges each day. They would read those banners. One could, for example, carry a message such as:

    “GOD CREATED US MALE AND FEMALE FOR MARRIAGE. WHAT’S THIS GAY MARRIAGE CRAP?
    or
    ” HEY YOU GAYS ! MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR YOU BUT FOR REAL MEN AND WOMEN ”
    or
    “GAY MARRIAGE ? YOU MUST HAVE MISSED THAT BIOLOGY CLASS. ENROL NOW !”
    or
    ” GAY MARRIAGE ? YOU’VE GOT TO BE JOKING !
    or
    “GAY MARRIAGE ? IT’S SO UNNATURAL !

    Any offers to match my donation of $250.00 to have a banner made as I’ve described ?

    John Ferwerda

  • Dear John,

    I am unable to match your $250.00, however I will pledge $50.00 for any one of your suggested banners being made – I love the biology one…

    Bill,
    Thanks so much for all you do. You are a light in an ever increasing world of depravity.

  • Hello Kylie!
    Thank you for responding to my suggestions about a banner and for your generous pledge to make it a reality. May the Lord bless you. I hope we can get a few more responses before proceeding further.
    My best wishes.
    John Ferwerda

  • Also the Nazis did not have a majority when they took control of Germany either.

    The answer to your question is clearly deception and confusion but the question as to what needs to be done is not so obvious. The media had portrayed that the less than 3% have pretty much spoken with one voice but this is not true so I think we need to have a clear perception of where the enemy is working. This is a complex issue with huge ramifications but we are constantly bombarded with over simplification and glossing over the issues. There is no doubt this deception has been generated by experts so how we get people back to clear thinking on this issue without access to people, needs to be addressed. Hitler was able to achieve a huge amount of evil with what now is seen to be, obvious and clearly false propaganda but this is precisely the position we are now in. The propaganda techniques as used by many newspapers and especially public TV stations have, to me, been quite obvious but people seem to not have been able to see through them.

  • “Where were all the Christians? Why did they not at least put up a fight?”

    What ALL Christians MUST do NOW:

    Write/phone your political representative and tell them, in no uncertain terms:

    “Dear Sir/Madam,
    Please note that I CANNOT VOTE for any representative who promotes “same-sex’marriage”. Why? Because “gays” themselves (in THEIR OWN literature) have admitted that they are incapable of fidelity AND their REAL agenda is the DESTROY and MOCK Marriage.
    How?… by “appropriating” the TITLE of Marriage then trashing it.

    “To see how obscene this can become, just see recent on-line news about THREE Thai men who have had a THREE-WAY-‘marriage’.
    What is next? Even more multiple-partners; father-daughter ‘marriages’? sibling-‘marriages’? what other obscenities are possible?

    “If “gays” are seriously worried about legal issues as inheritance, pension, health issue rights, the LAW ALREADY PROVIDES for “legal agreements” for persons regardless of gender.
    Therefore there is NO NEED for “same-sex-marriages.” “Equality” ALREADY exists.

    “Please note that I CANNOT VOTE for any political representative who promotes homosexual ‘marriage’ which in reality is a “gay” DEMAND to ELEVATE SODOMY to the sacred status of (real) Marriage which ONLY defines Marriage as between a husband and wife.”

  • Without putting biblical love into biblical practice a person is simply deluding themselves about being a Christian. The same sentiment applies to a Church, an Organization or a Country.

    That being said, this world is a miserable place abounding in false havens and unrequited love.

  • Rod Mcmillan’s response is very much agreed with from this house

  • I am asking questions where are all the Christ followers? I have run into wolves in sheep clothing I have run into Pharisees and that is about it. Jesus said you will no me by my fruit and you will know men by their fruit. Too much vain glory man glory pride arrogance . I am looking for real Christ followers who are led by the Spirit of God. Who are in Spirit and in Truth!! Where can I find people who are sold out to Jesus?

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