This is the label now used to describe our times. Where once our culture was framed by a general allegiance to Christian values and ethics- it no longer is. This is probably not a shocker to most of us. The evidence of this surrounds. Headlines blurt it out daily.
Now I could launch into a discussion explaining how this might not necessarily be as great a negative as it appears. I could explore the strong and growing similarities between our century and the first one and then point out how the church flourished in that pre-Christian era. That is indeed an interesting discussion.
But for now- here are some brief and general thoughts on how we got to be “post-Christian.”
- We have surrendered our identities as Christians. No, we still wear the tag Christian, but in reality there is not much that separates us church-goers from those who don’t. Brad J. Waggoner in his book, The Shape of Faith to Come: Spiritual Formation and the Future of Discipleship speaks of “cultural seepage” within the church- basically dumbing down our commitment to living and sharing kingdom principles. The lines have simply blurred. We look and act too much like surrounding culture to be taken seriously as a penetrating voice for Christ in the cultural dialogue.
- Related to that is the moral ambiguity among us. We all know about scandals in high places among churches and church leaders. This has not helped, but what further hurts our attempts to share the joy of Christ is the failure of many Christians to faithfully live out godly virtues. We are simply failing to put these (see 2 Peter 1:5-9) on and wear them with any consistency. Instead (and again) we do not look much different than unbelievers. This actually disqualifies us from being a credible witness to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:27). And then, when we do speak we open ourselves up to criticism of being judgmental and hypocritical.
- Our message has become too politicized. God’s kingdom transcends any nation or country. Our call regardless of our nationality is to be salt and light to that nation. God’s kingdom can transform an earthly one, but not by becoming equal partners with it (2 Corinthians 6:14). When “God issues” become pawns in political debate designed only to pander for votes- it then hinders our ability to make a difference in that culture by sharing the overall life-giving message of Christ.
- There is simply too much general apathy in our churches. Where now is our passion for evangelism? Where is our zeal to truly live a life worthy of our calling? Where is our commitment to Bible study and worship?
I am not afraid of living in a post-Christian culture. God still reigns. He just wants us to demonstrate that reign in our lives.
Feel free to agree or disagree and add your thoughts to the discussion.