Christian Ignorance

Pray for us.

Today I was with our evangelist, Chris Statter, again doing some outreach work. We had some fairly lengthy conversations with a few people about the gospel of Christ.

But what prompts this post is the fact that once again some of those conversations were with people who attend a local church or at least identify with a local church. And once again, we found that none of those sorts of people had a clue about the essence of the gospel.

I say “once again” because I think I can say, hand on heart, that for the last 18 months that we have been doing this work, I can only think of one person who claimed to be Christian who could reasonably well articulate what the gospel is. (Chris may be able to count more.)

For example I have spoken to:

– a churchgoing lady who, when asked “What does Jesus mean to you?” responded, “You’ve stumped me there!”, but quickly added, “But I try to live a good life”.

– a man, an office bearer in a local church, who argued that doubt was good and that certainty was unnecessary. He would not consider how the Bible speaks of the peace, rest and assurance that comes with Christ.

– someone who was passionate about current issues in church politics, but could not tell me anything at all about what his god is like. “I’ll have to think about that”.

– a woman who attends a church but also believed we should be tapping into eastern mysticism. She knew nothing about knowing God through Jesus Christ. Wasn’t really interested. Experience was everything.

And so I could go on … at length. It is appalling the ignorance of people in our area who attend churches. What amazes me is that a general question which encourages people to talk about the Christian faith invariably elicits a response that doesn’t have Jesus Christ anywhere in view. The response is about morals, experiences or social aspects of church. The great doctrine of saving grace in Christ means nothing in their lives. And with that, hell awaits.

So, please pray for us as we seek make clear presentations of the wonderful gospel of Christ. The spiritual landscape in Solihull is much worse than it looks.

Christian Ignorance

8 thoughts on “Christian Ignorance

  1. This is very sad. On the other hand, one must ask – what do these people hear every Sunday preached from the pulpit? Sound’s like it is not the Gospel they hear.

  2. Ed Freshwater says:

    What exactly is the problem with doubt? Have you never questioned anything about your faith? The Bible is chock full of people questioning what is happening, struggling with comprehending a God who is much bigger than our brains can handle and wondering why things work out the way they do. Doubt is OK – just saying you ‘believe it because you just do’ maybe less so.

  3. Hi Ed, thanks for commenting. At one level there is nothing wrong with doubt as you describe it. There are many things I wrestle with too. But it’s a bit like being half way up a ladder – it is ok to be there as long as you want to get to the top or the bottom and get moving. Staying in the middle and saying “I’m fine” is a problem.

    The issue for someone who claims to be a Christian is whether you are certain about Christ and his saving work. Faith is an entrustment of self to Jesus even though there is much that is still to be understood. In the particular instance I related in my post, the person was not even willing to concede this bedrock of faith in the person of Christ. Even more tragic was his statement that his minister was encouraging him in this attitude.

    Of course, this is not what the gospel writers intended e.g John said about his gospel, “…these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:21). So, the question needs to be turned around so that we ask, “What is so wrong with Jesus that pastors cannot encourage people to trust him and teach them why they should?”

    Blessings to you and yours.

  4. Richard Huss says:

    So sad – but thanks for posting this, we need this sobering reminder to preach the good news, not just good advice or interesting thoughts. Is there an element of 2 Timothy 4:3 at work? In which case, we will need to remember the whole paragraph, 2 Tim 4:1-5.

    That said, I know from personal experience that it is possible to carry on in self-delusion and without life-changing trust in Jesus Christ for a remarkable length of time, even when “hearing the world-transforming truth proclaimed” very regularly and clearly. (I guess that’s why Paul talks about great patience and careful instruction.)

  5. Hi Richard, great to hear from you. Those are searching words from Paul, aren’t they? It applies to both sides of the occasion of preaching. Are the hearers only open to hear what they want to hear? Are ministers faithfully discharging their duty?

  6. PaulMEdwards says:

    Great post!
    It is very sad how few churchgoing people (whom I won’t call Christians) around the world are being disserved by pathetic preachers & watered-down worship.

    I got here from David Anderson’s WordPress plugin author page. 😀

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