Robust Faith or Flabby Religion? Part IV

Posted: Apr 02, 2005 12:00 AM

Throughout history, the Christians who have rocked Satan?s world by evangelism and establishing the good society have been people who:

1. Incorporated what they believed into their daily grind,
2. Bumped up the quality of their spiritual experience,
3. Had a passion for effective action, and
4. Labored for personal, ecclesiastical and national renewal.

I covered points one, two and three in my last three columns, and here?s my stab at point four: Laboring for personal, ecclesiastical and national renewal.

As I stated, believers who successfully carried out the creation and evangelistic mandates understood the need for constant rejuvenation.  Yes, these believers comprehended the innate spiritual rot which unsurprisingly and easily crept in on them, their church and their nation. 

Appreciative of this nefarious bent, these Christians intentionally and constantly prodded themselves Godward.  Yeah ? the effective believers who shaped culture stirred up their lukewarm hearts, stifled their lower cortex monkey brain and labored earnestly against the grain for an enriched understanding of God?s truth, stoked spiritual affections, and more resolution regarding their calling in life.

These useful believers were ever mindful of the fact that no matter what a person has accomplished, what a church has done in the past or what our nation has formerly stood for, as long as there are humans involved, there must be the incessant rousing of God?s gifts and graces, or all our progress will derail like an AmTrak and become a fraction of what it could be.

Unfortunately, within large portions of evangelicalism and Catholicism today, a serious examination of one?s faith is as about as popular as Michael Schiavo would be at a Focus on the Family luncheon.  This is sad because everywhere constructive personal criticism of one?s relationship with Christ occurred, the individual, the church and inevitably the nation got blessed.

If the church would take a regular hard look at itself now, bolster the things which are great and kick to the curb the crud that impedes us, we would be more fit to powerfully impact the nation in which we reside.  A Christian?s desire to biblically better the planet demands that we constantly revamp our graces because of the tremendous task which is set before us.  Renewal in the scripture is always preceded by reality, and reality can sometimes be brutal.  This is why we avoid it.

For the individual believers who want to revive their walk/spirit, here?s a brief and incomplete reality check to help determine where we are in our walks with God.

1. Do you have a never ending search for pleasure?  People who are always chasing pleasures, who must have their lives filled with innumerable toys and must always be playing, are probably straying from what is grand and noble.  Sure we?ve got to rest and have fun ? no arguments here.  What I?m talking about is the pleasure monger who is addicted to fun and allergic to godly duty.  A Christian in this condition is in no condition to challenge a low ranking demon.

2. Are you deficient in devotions?  One sure sign that you are slowly corroding is that your Bible is dustier than Lubbock, Texas in April.  When the heart loves God, real communion with Him and His word is a must, and you don?t need your aunt with a mustache guilt-tripping you into reading the scripture.

3. Do you look like a robot at Church?  Here?s what I mean: Y?know the type ? the person sings, speaks or does anything in God?s name with all the excitement of Sean Hannity carpooling with Jesse Jackson after Jesse has just eaten two bean burritos.  Yes, a robotic, scraped-frontal-lobe, Tin-man-like way of saying and doing spiritual exercises is clearly a result of rote rather than the outflow of one?s heart, and it?s a sign that you need revitalization and a Red Bull. 

4. Do you blow off church for slight reasons?  Listen ? I know some churches are about as inspiring as Richard Lewis reading Lamentations in Latin after drinking six bottles of NyQuil.  But you and I know that there are a great number of Christ-centered churches that are doing a faithful, energetic job for Christ.  Now ? if just one of these gatherings takes place in a home or in a building in your city and you know about it?and you miss it for some lame reason on a regular basis, then you, my friend, are probably not doing as hot as you think you are.

5. Do you avoid spiritual conversations, or is what you do have to say about God inane? Look, when it is easier and more engaging to talk about any and everything other than God and His cause, you might have a problem.  Or if your contribution to a conversation comes to screeching halt when the things of God are mentioned, or your depth of contribution makes Paris Hilton sound like C.S. Lewis, you might need to pull your Christian life to the curb for an oil check.

My ClashPoint is this:  The cold hard reality is that our carnal man wants to take hold of God as much as Ted Nugent wants to soul kiss Janet Reno.  As believers, we naturally will go from bad to worse.  And as the church goes, there goes the culture.  Therefore, it?s incumbent for the believer to be busting his hump to make certain his love toward God, man and that which is holy, just and good never, ever, becomes tepid and tame.

* logon to to check out Doug?s latest interview with Paul Sperry author of the book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington.