I just finished Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley. It is a tremendously good book. I have learned so much from it. Something I just read in the epilogue was eye-opening, toe stomping, and disheartening all at the same time. Here it goes:
Surely one of the more remarkable aspects of Christianity today is how few of these professed believers have ever seriously studied the history of their religion. In an earlier age adherents of one faith seldom encountered adherents of another. Few were required to defend their religion against the criticisms of a rival faith. In our day, however, when mass media make the world our neighborhood, the ignorance of Christians is hard to justify.
The movement toward separation of church and state has all but removed religion from public education. That is true. But even “Christian education” in many denominations has done little to give members any sort of adult understanding of the faith they profess to believe. Should we really be surprised, then, when today’s Christian so frequently blends gross errors with orthodox confession or defends some pagan practice as “Christian” conduct?
Wow. All I can say is wow. It is so disheartening to see how far we (professing Christians) are from what is taught in Scriptures. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we are the ones who are blending pagan practices, Eastern religions, entertainment, and choosing to practice things that are unBiblical and calling it “church”. We have the entire Bible at our disposal and yet, often choose to allow things in our lives that are in direct contrast to what it says. Now more than ever our churches need to focus on the Bible, what we believe, and why we believe it. We need to set aside the feel-good, the “relevant”, and the entertaining and get back to caring about the fact that people are attending our churches, enjoying every moment of it, yet spending eternity in hell when they die.