Does anything ever just make you mad? Like really, really mad?
I’m there right now. I’ve actually had this post written for over four months, but I never submitted it. I’ve never submitted it because I’m afraid: afraid it will come across all wrong, afraid that people will misunderstand my heart, afraid that it’s just too harsh.
I see the exceptions to my words and the people who are the real deal, and I don’t want them to feel like their lives are unseen or their witness is wasted because they’re definitely not.
In fact, they are the very people for whose sake I decided to submit this post, after all. Cultural Christianity is just so repelling and yet so alluring all at the same time. I felt like, for the sake of those on their face seeking Him, something had to be said, and I am tired of not being bold enough and just putting it out there.
Without further ado, then, here are some thoughts I’d like to share despite the fear I still feel. Would you please read with grace and understanding? I would love to hear your thoughts on this endemic, too. Please comment, and we can talk over this some more.
I’m sick of “Christians.”
I’m sick of churchy-ness.
I’m so stinking sick of my generation saying they love God but never mentioning His name outside of Bible class or chapel (unless, of course, they need a convenient cuss word).
I’m sick of people who believe we are supposed to be strangers and aliens in a world that’s not our home but who I can’t even pick out in a room of the secularized West.
I’m so done
with people just believing what they hear and not searching for truth themselves.
I’m so exasperated with people telling me to have a relationship with God while their prayers sound like they are talking to somebody they don’t even know.
I. Am. So. Sick.
Of these people claiming to know my God while living like He means nothing.
I know I am in no place to judge. That’s just not my role.
I can’t help noticing these things, though, and these thoughts keep surfacing.
Where is the place where I walk into a room of my peers who call themselves “Christians” and feel the peace of Christ?
Where is the place that Jesus is real to people?
Where is it that prayer is powerful and people live dead to themselves, by grace, and through faith?
Where is it that people are open to the Spirit and following His leading?
Where is it where Christ actually means something?
Where his name has power and is seen at work in powerful ways?
Where is it that He is more than a word in a song, a picture on the wall, a “good-doer” that your supposed to remember when asking “what would Jesus do?”
When does it become less of “Yeah, I know about Jesus” to “No… I know Jesus!”
Is He not more than another piece of doctrine we need to fit into our do-good lives?
Is He not alive, the God-man?
Shouldn’t we be spending time with Him and listening?
He tells us of sacrifice. He tells us of being devoted.
Shouldn’t accepting Him into our lives mean that He is now involved? (and ain’t nobody gonna change that or deny it.)
My soul aches to be part or a generation where Christ is more than a name, more than a name to sometimes include in our us-orchestrated lives.
My soul longs to be part of a generation where Christ means something, where our devotion to Him isn’t taken lightly but is a way of life, and where He is real in a real relationship.
For there is power in His name.
There’s power in the name of Jesus, and I long to see it unleashed in our lives.
Power for peace.
Power for joy.
Power for endurance.
Power for love.
Power for hope.
Power to stand strong when everybody else is gone.
Power to live even as we fail.
Power to live bigger than ourselves.
Power to serve.
Power to sacrifice.
Power to give up and give to.
To my generation — Jesus Christ is real.
Please stop saying you are a Christian unless you are dead serious about it (ain’t nobody got time for that).
It’s time to get real … or get out.
(And I truly hope that we choose to get real).
Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!
There are currently 17 Comment(s)
There are currently 17 Comment(s)
Wow! I can totally relate!!! I feel like I have to divide the people I know up into two groups, the people who I know are Christians and the people that call themselves Christians but don’t act like it. :-/
“I. Am. So. Sick.
Of these people claiming to know my God while living like He means nothing.”
I’ve felt that a lot…I’ve said in my head “wait, X is a Christian? Or I guess I should say, wait, X thinks he’s a Christian?” before.
One of the biggest things I have to remember is to try not to be like that yourself. Check out Romans 1:18 to the first part of chapter 2. It’s really convicting! 🙂
Thanks so much for writing! And don’t worry, you didn’t come off the wrong way (in my opinion.) 🙂
Those are great verses and passages in Romans! Yes, they are so convicting, too; God’s Word is just so powerful it leaves me awe-struck. Thanks for sharing!
Yes!! I totally relate, Deborah. It’s like for some Christians, the truth is stuck in their heads (“I know Jesus died for my sins”. “I know He loves me.” “I know I am a new creation.”). But do they truly believe? Do they claim it as living, real, uncompromising? Has the truth moved from their head to their hearts and transformed their lives? For many I think the answer is no.
Romans 6 describes the incredible truth that in the life of a believer, a radical transformation has taken place. The “old man” was actually, literally crucified with Christ. We as Christians are not only saved by the blood of Jesus, but a marvelous exchange has taken place in the very core of our beings. We are no longer the “old man” dominated by sin and death. We have new identities. We are new creations, united to Christ Jesus. But are we living like it? Do realize this vital truth and claim it as real? Or do we just continue living as if nothing ever happened?
I’ve been reading about the Christian Protestants who were persecuted in Tudor England under Bloody Mary. They not only claimed the truth – they lived for it and even died for it. If we claim to own a faith that powerful, we should see some evidence of it in our lives.
Thanks so much for this article!!
I love how you phrased that… the “marvelous exchange.” How true that is! I can only image, too, how the Christians who were being persecuted under Bloody Mary saw their faith come alive in ways they probably never imagined. It makes me think of what is going on around the world right now, and hearing current stories of all that is so convicting, too!
Wow… i wish every teen everywhere could see this. This is profound, Deborah! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions of Christian living. But Christianity is so much more than a lifestyle! Jesus is so real. More real than we can imagine, and we need to start living like that’s true. Thank you for your courage in writing this. God bless,
Yeah, falling into that trap is so easy, sometimes! Here’s to being the change.
I’ll second that!
Amen! Oh, to be a generation, to be a nation who knows Jesus, and doesn’t just know of Him… That would be a beautiful thing.
And: “ain’t nobody got time for that”–thanks for making me smile. 🙂
Amen to that! (And haha now thanks for making me smile!)
Wow, Deborah. At first when I read this, I was like, oh, I totally relate! And then, I felt a little guilty because I can be that person sometimes….
If I am a true Christian, shouldn’t people be able to pick me out, to notice something different about me, to see Christ thought me? Instead, I find myself striving to be apart of the crowd, wanting to be like them, to be accepted. But Christ tells us to be in the world but not of the world.
Thank you for writing, Deborah, and getting over your fear! Some people need to hear it, even if they don’t want to.
Completely random side note @MyNameIsAnigoMontoya:disqus your username is inconceivable! 🙂
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
HAHAHAHAHAHAAAaaaaa…. *drops over dead*
Gotta love that actor. 😛
Hahaha!!!! 😀 True.
There’s going to be some person on here that hasn’t seen the movie and they’re going to be like “whaaaaa…?”
I feel bad for whoever hasn’t seen that movie. It’s such a classic.
Yeah, I mean it’s understandable though, it does have a fair bit of violence and a couple of curse words.
…and that person would be me. Could you please enlighten the rest of us?
It’s from the movie Princess Bride, which sounds really dumb, but it’s actually kind of making fun of princess/medieval timed movies. It’s really funny. 🙂
I’ve heard of it! Is it any good?
Yeah I recommend it except for the reasons below…
Hahaha at first I didn’t get it. I haven’t seen that movie in forever! It’s pretty great. XD
The book is really good, too! 🙂
There’s a book? I didn’t know that. I’ve just watched the movie!
Yeah, it’s written by William Golding, and it’s rather hilarious 🙂
I’ll have To read it some time!
Ha ha, that would be me :p
as you wish…….
Ha ha, i actually do get that one. lol 🙂
One of my favorite lines ever!!
Haha….thanks? Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing….:)
Oh, AND THEN I remember inconceivable from the movie, LOL. I was wondering where that word came from….
Good thing! 🙂 And “1 other person is typing” is not something you see every day….
I know, right? I’m always like, aaaahhhhh! I’m not the only one on here!
Yes, the struggle can be very real, Eva! The tendency to just want to be a part of the crowd and “to find your place” can be so intense, and it’s hard to combat that sometimes. Like you said, though, we are not to be of this world but are called ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 2:5-20); we can do all things through Him, too, (Phil. 4:13); it’s my prayer that we will live in His strength!
Philippians 4:13 is my all time favorite verse. What an awesome promise that God gave us! Realizing the truth in that verse is one of the best things a person could ever understand. That is my prayer too!
And btw, I think you are beautiful 🙂
That verse is definitely one of my favorites, too! (And aww, thank you; you are so sweet!)
Thank you! You wrote something that I was too scared to write. I agree with everything.
In order to see the change, we need to be the change. We can’t say “I wish there were more real deal Christ followers” without being a real deal Christ follower. I struggled with this for a couple of years. I got so aggravated at the fact that people were blind to see what was right in front of them. I was angry that people believed that God existed, but didn’t care or think that effected how they act. Then I reluctantly realized that this was me. I wasn’t living like God had changed me.
A generation of people who worship and know Jesus’ would be an outstanding, beautiful, amazing thing. A radical change needs to take place for this to happen. As Christians, isn’t God asking us to lead this change? Us rebelutionaries are called to do hard things. That includes leading a nation to the One who saves us all.
This topic gets me so fired up. I could go on for hours.
“aint nobody got time for that”— thanks for the laugh 🙂
I am so with you! I was reading your comment and kept thinking “Amen to that!” We definitely need to lead the change by being the change as you put it, and living a life passionate about Christ and passionate to see others lock-in to Christ and reach the world is such a wonderful reality!
That is a great passage! It is so true, even as I was writing the above post, I could see the ways in which I fail to live my faith and in which what I wrote could be said of me in some ways, too. It never ceases to amaze me what a faithful, holy, and gracious God we serve whose power is perfected in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). It is always so important to be examining our own lives, though, to be sure that our actions line up with what our words are (and to repent when needed!)
Amen! We so need to be aware of not being hypocrites. Even when we do fail we can still ask for forgiveness from others and give a powerful testimony that way. What gets me is that in spite of all we’ve done against God that He still loves and forgives us! Amazing grace.
I’m so glad somebody wrote this! Jesus didn’t die to make us act better, He died to make us His and that’s what will change people. Thanks for posting.
THIS MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. You have answered a really important question for me. Thank you SO much!!!
Just to be clear let me add that salvation does make people think and act differently. I was just trying to emphasize that true Christianity is less a set of rules, but a change of heart.
Yes, I understand what you’re saying. I made that first comment because lately I’ve been trying to DO so much, to be the Christian poster child. I’ve wondered how God could ever let me into heaven unless I do more good stuff. While that is important, your comment made me realize how his love can accept me, a sinner. His love will and has changed me, but I now have had an awesome reminder that I will never be good enough but he loves me anyway.
Not because of who I am, but because of what He’s done
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who He is
I love that song! And yes, the lyrics are very relevant to these comments. Thanks!
I love that song!!!! And I love Casting Crowns’ lyrics 🙂
That’s such an amazing thing to understand! He will never stop loving you, no matter what!
I’m thrilled that He used it!
Wow. Great post. I have actually been thinking about this for while. I have a question, How can you tell if someone is truly a Christian? I know that you can identify a Christian by their good fruits. Is their anything else that you should look for, that tells you that they are a true believer?
1 Corinthians 12:3 “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” So if someone can say, “Jesus is Lord” then they have the Holy Spirit in them, and they’re saved. 🙂
Thank you. That really helps.
If they go out of their way to share God with people, that usually means their a solid Christian. Sharing with people the gospel and doing hard things is a step that most lukewarm Christian’s wouldn’t take.
Right. Unless they are a false convert, and have been taught a false gospel (example; Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. While that is true, God is NOT a genie.) like Dan Barker, who was a minister for 17 years before showing his true true colors. He was a false convert, and is now an avid atheist who hates the Lord.
I’ve never heard of Dan Barker. Can you tell me more about his story?
Let’s see if you get the reply I just posted below. 🙂
refusal to compromise truth, a hunger for the word, and an unshakeable love for Christ. You’ll also see them change over time.
These have been practically my exact thoughts ever since I became a Christian. Our generation may claim to know Christ, but it doesn’t even look like He’s important to them! He’s just something to think about on Sundays and Wednesdays. Some mysterious, vague, inactive, “loving” being who represents goodness but who isn’t real enough to demand our service, sacrifice, and devotion.
It is so sickening. Angering. I even noticed, not very long ago, that just the mention of God gave me a negative feeling. Even if the person was saying something true of God, my immediate reaction was disdain, thinking only of their supposed unfaithfulness. Let me tell you, that’s a dangerous place to be.
My nature is to see the bad in people. I see what they’re getting wrong. I’m critical. But the Lord has been showing me that I need to see the good in people. And that is so not me. It sounds so cliche. Like something those “so-called-Christians” would say. But it’s so crucial.
If I look at those around me and only see what they’re getting wrong, I will never imagine that they would want to do anything different. I’ll just accept that they’re lukewarm Christians and will always stay that way. That they’ll never understand and want to change. I’ll never see what Christ can do in them.
The point is, if I look around and see a bunch of nominal Christians, who’s fault is that? If I’m truly the more mature Christian, it’s my fault! I’ve obviously had no effect on those around me, which means I’m failing. I can talk about what a shame this generation is all I want, but in the end, I’ve done nothing to help. I need to make sure that my lifestyle is changing people.
I’ve been babbling a bit, but I’ll just say that I totally share your feelings about this generation. And I don’t write this comment thinking that you are being critical; I’m just sharing things the Lord has been showing me, in hope that someone might find it helpful. 🙂 I enjoy reading your articles, Deborah! Thank you so much for this!
This look familiar…?
(For anyone who’s wondering – Nathan and I were discussing something similar on his website.)
I’m glad to hear that similar discussions are going on!
Wow, you really nailed it, Nathan! Thank you so much for sharing some of your experience, and I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. It’s so true – God can be seen as such an inactive, vague being that we, then, are inactive about living our faith and vague about what we really believe and what our ‘Christian words’ actually mean. I think what you brought up really is what can counteract this trend: God becoming real to us. I’ve actually been thinking about this ‘reality of God’ in my own life a lot, lately, and I’ve really been asking God to become even more real to me than He already is. Seeking God, just desiring Him, hungering for His Word and asking Him to become more real to us so that He can be more real in us which makes his life be more real through us can be so powerful. Like you brought up, we often fail as ‘mature’ Christians when we are doing nothing to help the situations around us. It’s my prayer that we would be bold enough to seek God’s reality -per say- more (because He is a holy God!) and bold enough to boldly live a life for Him.
I read this an my jaw literally dropped to the floor! You totally rocked it Deborah!
We need to more then just be “Christians” we need to be people who shine the name of Jesus with every word that we say and our actions. We need to have the courage to stand up for what we believe, even if the culture is totally against us.
There is power in the name of Jesus, and we need to show that power by the way we live and act. We need to be a generation that shows power because if we don’t, then who will ??
Keep letting Christ use you Deborah!
Amen, Rachel! There’s such power, and it’s my prayer, too, that we would have the courage to show the power that’s in Jesus! Here’s to being bold and changing the world.
I appreciate your boldness and lack of fear in confronting this issue.
While this generation may seem to be worse than others, this lukewarm behavior has been going on from the beginning of time. “For narrow is the way that leads to righteousness and few find it.” I am an older woman, way beyond your years, and I have been crying your cry since I was first saved almost 40 years ago. I couldn’t understand why others who purported to know Christ showed no evidence in their lives that they either knew him or had come to know Him. I finally read John MacArthur’s book called “The Gospel According to Jesus.” It confirmed exactly what I believed in my heart, but having been raised in an always grace giving atmosphere for ungodly behavior, I was afraid that I was being wrongly judgmental. But we are told to “judge rightly,” when it comes to people claiming to be Christians. There is such a thing as a remnant. Some say it could be as little as 10%. Many will call Lord, Lord and he will reject them. Our responsibility is to stand strong in the faith, devour the Word, and pray that God might find those wanting Him as He knocks on the door of their hearts.
Things are going to get tougher for those who are committed to endure to the end.Hang in there. Your heart’s cry is the cry of Christ’s.
Hey Jean! Thank you so much for sharing some of your experiences. That is very true that the way is narrow; things are going to be difficult, but, as you brought up, this is not necessarily a new struggle. All in all, we have hope, too, and that can keep us going when life is looking less than ideal and when the darkness seems to be all encompassing: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19).
Wow! Thank you Deborah! I’ve been feeling this way for a while. We can’t just call ourselves Christians…we need to BE Christians. THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS! He should be flowing out of our lives! We need to be the generation that says, “I’m done with pretending. The mask is off… I live because HE LIVES!”
Amen, Amanda!! Here’s to throwing off the masks and throwing ourselves into His service!
Thank you. It is difficult and sometimes it feels like we’re alone in it and sometimes it feels like it’d be easier just to throw in the towel. But ‘Having heard all this, you may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know’ as Wilberforce said. So keep praying and keep living and keep telling.
That quote by Wilberforce is seriously one of my favorites; thank you for sharing it! I hear you, though, sometimes throwing in the towel seems like a good (and much easier) option. It’s my prayer that we would have the courage to be the change and be bold!
I haven’t had much experience with this since (thankfully!) most of the kids I hang out with are pretty hardcore about their faith. But a few months ago I was reunited with one of my oldest friends that I hadn’t seen in years, and I was shocked at how lax she took her faith. Her family are Christians, and so we went to church together one day. During worship she was whispering and giggling with one of her other friends. After church she carelessly used God’s name in vain. She was disrespectful toward her dad, and I was stunned at how she acted. Is this what “normal” teens act like? I thought to myself. And don’t get me wrong, her life is hard. Her mom left when she was a baby. Her dad isn’t home a lot of the time, working. Her older sister has two kids, and isn’t married.
But still, all the more reason to stick to God, right? For most teens, I guess not. And who would want to, when church just isn’t worth it? The songs are made of fake smiles. The sermon is long and no one understands half of it anyway. Youth group is okay occasionally, if only to check out the cute “Christian” boys. That’s how I’ve heard some people describe it. That’s apparently how it is when you’re not fully invested in The Lord.
Who else is going to shine a light, if we won’t? We, as the generation everyone is looking at and dismissing as reckless human beings, need to make a comeback. We need proclaim the name of our Lord, and stand as tall and proud as we can!!!
Amen to that, Gabrielle! Thank you for sharing your experiences, and you make some super important points! I actually have a friend who, because of many past experiences, felt so cripplingly frustrated with churches because she felt they were exactly that: fake. Giving people the impression of fake-ness is so not where we, as the church, want to be, and it’s a dangerous place to be! As you said though, who is going to make the change if we don’t. Yeah, our generation sure is looked at as hopeless pretty often, but light in a dark place makes such a difference.
Totally! And thanks for writing this article!
Great job on the article!
I think that this mess is partly due to the modern watered down Gospel message, and people come to Jesus for selfish reasons. That makes a lot of false converts!
That’s a really good point, Ethan! When we water down the Gospel, we are essentially watering down so much about Christianity and presenting a ‘religion’ that doesn’t seem to match up with the Book it claims to be from. It’s definitely true, too, that we can even present Jesus in a manner that mainly appeals to people’s selfishness. Then, at youth groups and such, that selfishness can keep being fed through just a general ‘me-centeredness.’ This definitely is not always the case, but it’s been a tendency that I’ve noticed. Thank you for pointing out that danger!
AMEN to every word of that, Deborah! I’m sick of it too. Spiritual apathy is a very real and serious problem in the church today. We young people really need to stand up and show everyone that there is so much more than the lifeless faith they profess. Jesus didn’t call us to say a prayer and go to church. He called us to be disciples and make disciples.
Amen, Amanda! We are so called to be disciples who are making disciples as we aren’t afraid to go and do for Him. Let’s be the change!
My friend once said: “True Christianity is never shown in popular culture. Because true Christianity is beautiful, but terrifying.” It’s not soft, it’s not sappy. It MUST be taken seriously. And this article SO shows that. More wonderful than I can say – bravo, Deborah!
Wow, I love that! “…true Christianity is beautiful, but terrifying.” That is such a true and powerful statement, and I think that it can be said the same of God. I was watching Francis Chan’s “Basic” video series, and the first episode is on fearing God. Chan talked about how the striking fear of God is the place that we need to get to in order to better understand the rest (he did it through a really cool and powerful analogy with water). Our faith and our God sure is a marvelously beautiful reality, yet it is really a marvelously terrifying reality, too. I think that not losing sight of this healthy fear and the power of what we claim is so incredibly important!
Definitely! Claiming to be ‘Christian’ is actually a huge deal – the package that come with being a Christian is no small thing! It means Christ’s power in you – not something to be taken lightly!
So Im not trying to be aurgumentive or anything, but never? how do we define never? and do we really know where God will show Himself? just a thought…
Great questions, and worthy of an answer. I will get around to answering them as soon as possible, but I’m kinda crazy busy atm. :/ Just thought I’d let you know so you don’t think I don’t want to answer. 🙂 Anyway, I’ll get back to you soon.
@jessjesse:disqus! You’re back! 😀
Lol ya… 🙂
I notice when people who were here when I joined disappear and then reappear, that’s all 🙂
Yayyyyyyy!!!! Welcome back!!
Thanks for your patience, Jess jesse! I’m back to answer…. 🙂
Well, when taken in the context my friend uses it (the quote is taken from a blog post: http://thepenultimatefrontier.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/another-old-post-i-actually-had-some.html), he is making the point that what is labelled ‘Christianity’ in our culture is not ‘true Christianity.’ He’s pretty much saying the same thing as Deborah is in this post – being a ‘good person’ does not equal being a true Christian, no matter what our culture today says. What pop culture portrays as ‘Christianity’ is not really Christianity. Hence, “True Christianity is never shown in popular culture.” OK, maybe ‘never’ is a bit strong, but I think his point is valid. Very, very few times has Christianity been correctly portrayed in pop culture.
Also, you’re right – we don’t know where God will choose to reveal Himself. But I think ‘God revealing Himself’ is a bit different to ‘true Christianity’ being ‘shown in popular culture’ as I explained it above.
Does that all make sense? Thanks for asking, btw. 🙂
Challenging and inspiring. Thanks, Deborah!
Okay, this is exactly how I feel about Christians sometimes as well. And don’t worry at all about offending me; I feel this exact same way. I really despise the people who call themselves Christians and yet they treat it like a brand name. It makes God look bad. I don’t think I can say anything else that hasn’t already been said, but this is exactly the kind of wake up call that this generation needs.
But hey, you’re on The Rebelution, where teens are different, and they’re not people to be trifled with.
I really like how you put that – how people call themselves Christians yet, really, just treat it like a brand name. That can be so true! I also agree with you, too, that the Rebelution is such a special place where people aren’t afraid to be real in this life with Jesus. It is such a blessing that launches people to bless others – something that this world does not cease to need!
WOW!! Deborah that was something out of this world!!! You really presented that well and it didn’t come out harsh at all. I commend you for taking a stand against people who don’t practice what they preach! Cause we’re not supposed to just walk past those people we’re supposed to keep our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable. and if they say their Christians but don’t live the life then there’s something that needs to be said. and by golly Deborah you said it!! With confidence, dignity, and with persuasiveness!! That was trully amazing and i want to thank you for posting that!!
May God Bless You!!!
Aww, Madeleine, thank you so much for commenting! Amen to what you said about accountability, as well! That’s something that I feel is very often lacking. I mean, vulnerability can be hard sometimes (as well as other problems like stubborn independence and such) which can make people less likely to engage in accountability, but I think that not only challenging one another to step up but also just living life together is so important. When we are struggling, learning, searching, and growing right along next to each other, something powerful can often take place. Sometimes it just seems plain out hard to do this in American culture, though! Any ideas on how to make it work?
YES! Thank you, Deborah! I have been thinking this my whole life… And I don’t really know what to do about it except confront it and stand up about it like you did with this article. That’s not judgmental: it’s called speaking the truth in love. That’s exactly what Jesus did (ever read what He said to the Pharisees? Sometimes truth hurts.). I’m very, very sick of nominal Christianity, and it’s time we were real about it. I went to a concert last night and I loved what one of the artists (Jeremy Camp) said, “You can sit there and sing along to these worship songs and get hyped up about being in a crowd, but will you live your faith? People are dying every day for theirs. Are you willing to live for yours?” And that is exactly what I would ask every youth group in America: are you willing to really, really live for Christ? Not just in a church, not just at a concert, not just in front of your youth pastor, but completely and constantly?
Wow, Sarah! What you wrote really hit home for me. That was a really good reminder about Jesus and the Pharisees; sometimes there are things that just need to be said, and it’s my prayer that we all would gain boldness to speak the truth in love! I hear you, though; sometimes, I really wonder, as well, what can be done about the apathy, disengagement, and occasional hypocrisy that can be so apparent (especially among us young people). I think what you brought up that Jeremy Camp said really can shed some light into this: “Are you willing to live for yours?” I think taking this perspective and asking “okay, today, (even just focusing on that one day, that one moment), how can I live for Jesus; what are ways that I can love God and love others today?” I think if we are bold enough (and frankly can move past self-centeredness enough [that’s a struggle for me!]) to ask that question, then we will be amazed at the opportunities to make a difference and to serve (and do all the things that love really is — see 1 Cor. 13). God is so faithful to lead us when we are willing!
Wow! Totally agree! I mean I see kids ‘love God’ on Sunday, cuss God on Monday, pray to pass a test on Tuesday, then ‘love God’ at youth group on Wendsday!! Btw SUPER well written, I promise you did not come off as harsh at all!!
Hey Katherine! Haha I totally agree with your Sunday-Wednesday progression; I’ve seen that happening, too! Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone with this. It’s my prayer that we will have the courage to make a change and be people whose love for Jesus and passion for Him causes an explosion of service and love for others!
I’ll pray that too! 😉
I’m just going to say that God is going to -and is already- using you to impact and bless the lives of others in incredible ways. Thank you for being brave enough to submit that article. It’s almost as if I was looking at a mirror into my own soul as you put into words the same burden that has been on my heart for some time now. I’m sick of being surrounded by apathetic, half-hearted, hypocritical, shallow people who have the audacity to advertise themselves as Christians, yet threaten their pastor with leaving the church because of something they don’t like, or harbor grudges and bitterness toward other believers. I want to be with people who are on fire for God and passionate about witnessing. In America especially, we have more religious freedom then any other country, but we don’t take advantage of it. Instead, we sit around complaining about the music or what have you while Christians in other countries are dying for the sake of their faith. A lady at a church we sang at recently actually told me they spent an hour or so during a church meeting arguing about what kind of chairs to have in the fellowship hall. What’s the point? When you could spend an hour studying the Bible, spending time with God, ministering to others, why argue over something as menial as chairs? Anyway, I’m done ranting. Thanks again, I really appreciate your article.
Hey Abby! Thanks so much for the encouragement, and thanks for letting me know that I am not alone in this, either. I definitely hear you about how we are prone to take our religious freedom for granted here in America. Hearing about the persecuted church is so humbling, and it really does put things in to perspective a little more. I guess two things that I’ve encountered about all this would be 1) how do we strive to reverse this trend of apathy and hypocrisy in our generation? -and- 2) how do we make a difference for those who are being persecuted overseas? I’d love to hear any thoughts that you have!
Wow, you got me a little stumped with those questions. =) I think one of the biggest problems we face is that we want to do things, but we’re either afraid, or when we try we are too dependent on our own strength. Often I’ve jumped into something thinking I’m going to be doing God some big favor. I’m not. Honestly, anything I can accomplish is insignificant; basically useless. Trying to change things and make a difference is futile. On my own strength. When I try and do things my way, jump all in, pumped, excited about what I’m going to do for God, I mess everything up. Sometimes, the best thing we can possibly do is listen. God can and will use us, but He will do it how and when He wants to. If we try doing things our way, we may as well sit around and do nothing for all the good “our way” will accomplish. It seems like we no longer believe in the power of prayer like we used to. I’m not sure if I’ve already recommended this book in a previous conversation, but if you’ve never read it yet, you should look up “The Kneeling Christian” by an Unknown Christian. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do things for God or trying to discourage you, but sometimes -if we aren’t operating within the will of God- our efforts are more of a hindrance than a help to the kingdom. God talks to His children, if we listen. If we seek His will. We can’t turn back the tide of apathy and hypocrisy because we can’t change the hearts of men; but God can. He wants to use us to do that, but we have to seek His will first, pray, and listen. Really listen.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. -Matthew 21:22
So you want God to use you to make a difference. You want to see a change in our generation? Just ask. Live a life of constant prayer, because unless you’re right with God and you are continually seeking a closer relationship with Him, He will never be able to use you for His work. But He wants to. That choice is yours to make.
Those are just some of my thoughts on the subject.
Wow, Abby! That was very insightful, and your thoughts really blessed me! I think you nailed so many important things in such a great way which are so important to not lose focus on. The reminder to go in God’s strength, to be a continual listener, and to live in the power of prayer is very timely for me. Thank you so much!
I’ve typed this comment at least 4 times already and then deleted everything I’d typed. Deborah, all I can say is thank you for this article and I think I finally, finally get how you live by the power of Jesus Christ in you.
You ask, “Where is the place that there are genuine Christians live like Jesus is real?” I was asking, “How on earth do yo go about living that way?” I get it. I get it now! Not that I will always be a perfect person in that regard. I am going to fail and mess up. All I can say is, I understand Romans 6-8 like I never did before and your article (the second half of it anyway) goes so well with that.
Pardon my ramblings. So excited about this I feel like I’m going to burst but it’s not coming out the way I want it to in words. If I eventually collect the scattered pieces of my brain and get them to cooperate so I can explain better, I’ll come back and do so.
AnnaGrace! Even though you may feel like the right words just weren’t coming (which is a place that I’ve been many, many times, too!), your comment is so encouraging! I’m so excited hearing about you getting excited! Those chapters in Romans are ones that have been particularly meaningful in a very intense way for me these past few years, too, and it is just so amazing when you see how God is working in your life and when you are coming to new (or greater) realizations! I will be praying for you!
Thanks! Keep writing for Jesus! 🙂
Awesome article Deborah! Spiritual apathy is something I know I really struggle with, thank you so much for addressing the issue! Some books I’ve really enjoyed about being serious in our Christian walk are ‘Follow Me’ by David Platt and ‘Not a Fan’ by Kyle Idleman 🙂
@disqus_9p1eGFJkII:disqus I love “Not a Fan” too!!!! Have you read gods at war by Kyle Idleman as well?
I haven’t read that one, I’ll have to check it out:)
I’ll just have to look those books up, then 🙂
Thanks for the book suggestions! I’ve read ‘Radical’ by Platt and am definitely going to have to find the other two that you mentioned!
“Follow Me” and “Radical”, both by Platt, helped me to get serious about God too. I might have to look up “Not a Fan” then!
It’s really good:)
Yes! People treat God like a religion, but God isn’t the religion he is what inspires who we are. I am also tired of people being what I call “Halfway-Christians”, because they say and do the right things (in front of certain people), and then turn around and completely go against what they had just said. They go to church but that’s all the further they go,because through the week they would rather not talk about God or Jesus. This is more than people needing to stay true to their beliefs, this more than religion this is about a true relationship with the Lord. Way to go, Deborah! Loved this post! 🙂
Hi Anna! Are you new on here? I don’t think I’ve “seen” you before. If so, welcome!!! 🙂
Oh and you should post some of your writing (fiction I’m assuming) on your blog. Would love to read it! 🙂
Yes I am, I read the book last summer and have been on this site but this was the first time I have commented. Thank you! 🙂
Funny you should say that because I just decided yesterday to start posting some of my writing! 🙂
Also, it’s funny that your name is Anna Grace, because I am Anna and my best friend is Grace! lol! 🙂
If you are new here… welcome!
Yeah, I am new here. Thanks! 🙂
Thank you, this needed to be written. I found the place you mentioned once, I had it for three weeks during a project, that place where Christ was all and everything, It was a place of peace, I hope to find it again someday.
God bless you for this article, and may you and I and all who read it be those people that bring the peace, joy and passion of Christ.
Hi there! Welcome to the Rebelution! Glad to have you 🙂 (I know you’re new because I don’t recognize your name and so I looked up your account and I saw that this was your first comment on here…)
How’d you find us?
So many time’s I’ve felt this exact same way. Thank you for articulating what I couldn’t muster into words.
This article continues to stir the aching feeling I have inside to have my faith come to life and be real. I desperately want to find the place that you mentioned where the peace of Christ is in the very air I breathe.
Welcome to the Rebelution! We’re glad to have you 🙂 How did you find us?
I agree, this article is one of the best I’ve seen in a while 🙂 I’ll be praying that you find what you’re looking for, Zack.
Yeah, welcome Zack! Good to have you here.
Yes, Zack, I want that too…”Where the peace of Christ is the very air I breathe”. Wow, that’s beautiful. I want to be so filled with the His peace and His love that I’m constantly overflowing with the Spirit!
This was hard for me to read because it’s so true and scary. Scary mostly for myself – am I that person? I don’t think so, but I pray everyday I never become her. I have hope in Jesus Christ that He will be exalted in my life – praise Him for saving us!
Ouch, so true! Side questions, if I may, how does a person go about healing a seared conscience? How does one climb out of a rut of sin? How does someone remove that wedge that they have created between themselves and God?
Whew, Jay, those are some tough questions. I’m younger than you so I feel kind of strange answering them, but I can only speak from experience.
I have shared little bits of my story before, but at one time I had created a very big wedge between me and God. I was in a “rut of sin”. And I wondered those exact things. How on earth was I supposed to get myself out of that situation? I felt powerless.
And the truth is, I was.
God was the only One that could pull me out of it. What it took was for me to finally say “Alright, I’m willing, God.” And He opened my eyes to see clearly, literally that night, that I was the one who chose to remove myself from Him and live like I wasn’t under grace. All I had to do was chose to live by His strength and the truth of my salvation that He gave me in the first place. He reached out and brought me to Him and I never again want to leave.
I’m not sure if you are asking for yourself, for someone else, or just to know, but I hope that this helps a little 🙂
Truth be told, I was asking for my sake. Thank you for answering. Further question, how does a person go about repenting. I am not talking about saying “Lord, I messed up big time will you please forgive me.” I am talking about living for Christ in genuine repentance. Because I have tried the “I’m sorry.” I know God forgives me when I sin, but the question is… how do I “live my forgiveness” not “I’m sorry” and I mean it at the time, but then I mess up in the same area only worse. How do you fix a broken conscience? How do I really live for Christ not self deceived “lie repentance?”
Wow, everything you just said sounds like me. If I understand you correctly, you want to live without feeling guilty over past sins, even though you know God has forgiven them.
For me, and if you’re anything like me this will sound familiar, but I don’t want to assume anything, I knew I would have to keep asking forgiveness in the future for other sins, and I still felt guilty for having to continually go to Christ to seek forgiveness. “How do I ‘live my forgiveness’ not ‘I’m sorry'” sounds just like me.
Well, I asked this too. I wondered how I could live like I was a saint as God calls me, even though I sin. How can I feel “okay” with my forgiven sins when I knew that I would keep sinning? If that makes any sense. I don’t want to have to keep asking forgiveness, feeling so contrite, promising I’ll never do anything like it ever again, and then not long after….whoops. Sorry God, I did it again. Please forgive me…again.
So the question comes down to, how do I live like I am forgiven?
Is this what you were trying to get across? I just want to make sure before I go into something that is completely different than what you meant…:)
Nope, right on. That’s the question.
(What I mean is yes that sounds like me. Please answer.)
This is a really difficult question. Again, I can only speak from my personal experience.
I used to constantly wonder, “what’s wrong with me? Why do I live for myself more than for Christ? Why can’t I just say “no” to sin and go on living a perfect life?”
The truth that we have to come to grips with is not that we always sin. I used to focus on that and say, “well, it’s okay. I am a sinner by nature anyways.”
Well, that’s not what we should tell ourselves. Instead (I have to say this to myself all the time) the truth that we should focus on is–I don’t have to sin. God gave me the promise that since He sent His Son to die, I now don’t have to live in it. Romans 6:2 “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:18 “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”.
I’m not trying to preach to you or throw Bible verses in your face. But these verses carry a truth that is so important to understand.
In order to live in forgiveness, we don’t just say “I’m sorry” and go on with life, or make empty promises to keep away from sin. Yes, the truth is, we will always be sinners. But the even greater truth is this, “we have been set free from sin…” So we say our sorry, and then we decide, we chose, to live like that is the truth, asking God for strength to stand against temptation, not to lapse right back into that sin. It’s not just that we are sorry, it’s that we continue on in God’s strength, not our own. We continue on like we are forgiven and free. Because we are!
I really hope this makes sense. I have learned so much through my own experiences, and I long for others to understand what God has showed me!
I don’t know what to say. I have heard this before, but it seems more touching the way you word it. Thank you. God gave you wisdom in how to respond. Will you please pray for me, and if anyone else wants to pray for me too… please do. Thank you. More importantly, thank the Lord for His grace and love, wisdom and guidance. My God is so good!
Yes, of course I will pray for you! I asked that God would give me wisdom and I’m so so glad He reached you through my words! He IS good!
Hey, Jay, I pray that God will guide you, and make His stunning grace known to you in ways you never thought possible. God bless you my friend!
I am praying for you, too, Jay, that you will have strength, and clarity and gain a deep dependance on Jesus that will work through your life is so many astounding ways!
I’m praying right now, Jay.
@MyNameIsAnigoMontoya:disqus wow. Simply wow. I’m in a situation much like what you have described, and this helped me greatly. seriously. @disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus thanks for asking these questions! God is so good to bring this across my computer screen right now. I’m totally in awe of His grace. Thanks a million times over!
I am overwhelmed that God could use my difficult experiences to reach out to both you and @disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus. He truly gave me the right words to say! Can I say again that He is GOOD!
Believe it or not ALL of us have this problem we just don’t always share it. In my personal experience, I find that reading the Bible constantly and regularly helps the most. The more you read the Bible, the more you LOVE and CRAVE the Bible. The more you crave the Bible, the closer you get to God. The closer you get to God the more able you are to overcome sin and temptation, even if that sin is purely in your mind. I don’t remember who said it but someone said something along “Purity being more about the present than the past”. As Christians, we are blessed with the ability to have a clean slate each time we repent, although unfortunate we often need more than simply “knowing” that we have a clean slate to really live out that clean slate. So ya, mostly I would just dive into His word regularly every day! Romans or Hebrews are the two books I find best to start with when in this scenario; although 1 Corinthians is also really good. Reading only Christian books and listening to only Christian music(particularly hymns as their lyrics are a lot deeper) for at least a little while helps to cleanse you conscience. I will be praying for you! 😀
wow! Such kind hearted people here. Thanks I kind of knew I was slacking some in Bible reading, but I have been working on that exact point. Thanks again for the reminder. I have been reading through the Bible, and I have gotten a little past the life of Solomon.
Thats great! It seems to be something we all have to be continually working on! I find though whenever I am trying to get into reading the Bible regularly the epistles are often the best way to start simply because they are MUCH more direct spiritually than the OT books are, so you may want to try that out! 😀
Oh, I read other parts of the Bible too. I just think it is important to read the whole Bible. Even the genealogies are important. 😀
I definitely agree. I used to think certain parts of the Old Testament were confusing and…well, slightly boring, but then my family started doing this Bible study on Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the temple and walls, etc., and I began to see how all the characters and stories line up. It’s pretty amazing. I never realized it before, but the stories of Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah all take place around the same time. All those characters were living in the same time period and in some cases their stories actually correspond. Not to mention the prophets Zecheriah and Haggai were prophesying during that time as well. =)
Thats for sure! After all, all scripture is equally God-breathed! 😀
Truly great issue to bring up, Deborah! You really have heart. <3 I do want to address all you "luke warmers" out there who are terrified or confusingly angry, however, as I know what you are feeling. I hope you know that God loves you. Not "still" or "in spite of." He made you for a reason and that is to love and to be loved. He isn't sick of you but wishes that we all embrace that love. I went through a really hard time with my faith a year or so ago and ALL I wanted was to flip open the Bible and to find "I love you, Leorah." I did end up getting my "I love you" but it is so, so important to know of His love for you, even when you don't feel it or feel worthy of it.
Here is one of the "I love you"s I got during that hard time –
Oh and p.s., if this article did convict you (make you feel any strong emotion) this is a good sign! It shows that He is at work on you and by feeling these feelings, it shows that you actually do CARE and are repenting or turning back to Him. <3
Said a little prayer for you.
Thank you, wow! Very encouraging. I needed that.
I am glad it was able to help you in some way, Jay! A year or so ago at 16 – 17 I was afraid of where I would end up and didn’t believe I was forgiven because I believed “I couldn’t possibly be sorry enough.” I believed I was only sorry because I was caught and this really messed me up. Articles as this one also would just terrify me during that time and I was what some might call a wreck. The song “This Is How Love Wins” made me realize that a) I am loved and b) God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. And when He tells us to forgive 7×70, He is leading the way. That simple. For weeks I went and confused things up but in the end, all you really need to know is that He loves you and wants you to love Him in return by following Him. How do you do that? By loving His people. “By this men shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:35
This is kind of long but definitively worth it if you like Rich Mullin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1uQGqNyQoE
I’ll pray for you, Jay. God bless!
I am still working through it but another verse you might like/need to hear right now comes from Mali
WOW!!! BAM SMACK!!! I knew God loved me, but this just makes it sound even more real. I think God is telling me to “Wake Up! I love you.” Attitude changing, therefore life changing! Thank you! @alliehaylie:disqus you need to watch this too.
I’m 8 minutes in, and i’m sitting here in tears…
Praying for you. If anyone else wants to pray for @alliehaylie:disqus, she would probably appreciate it.
Already been praying 🙂
@disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus and @MyNameIsAnigoMontoya:disqus Thank you so very much…
No problem at all. I should pray for people more often then I do. Oh, and I changed my username to my real name. The J. in Josiah J. is my middle name, and it doesn’t stand for Jay.
@disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus and @alliehaylie:disqus, I’m praying for both of you :). Praise that God, I know He’s at work.
Yeppers, I’ll be praying for you both 🙂
Well I guess she is my sister and yours too. Sister in Christ that is. 🙂
How’d you know I’m your sister in Christ?
Um, You just told me, but I guess if I was smart I could have guessed you were a girl. After all probability indicates that not many men crochet, so you are most likely girl. When I said “Sister in Christ that is.” I was referring to Haylie.
What?!?! Yeppers is a girl thing? No wonder my brother makes fun of me for saying it!
I first saw Nathan Tasker use it… it’s not just us girls!
Yeah, crocheting is a girl thing… but I do know a family where all the guys crochet; it was something quiet they could do and not distract their mom when she was reading their schoolwork to them.
Oh, okay… yeppers!
Thanks @everybody… You guys are fantastic! It means so much to me 🙂 God bless y’all (yeah, i just typed y’all).
Your sister in Christ,
Are you two related, or did I miss a conversation between you two?
I am related to everyone here one way or the other, but no I am not directly related to whoever you are talking about (Are you talking about Haylie?).
Yeah, I was.
Nope, not really related 🙂
Okay, it seemed like a comment I might make if I saw something that my brother would get something out of… if my brother was on here.
So absolutely thrilled the video was able to reach you in some way! Your comments and @Haylie both remind me of myself and completely made my night. Praying for you both! And remember you are loved. Even when the “wow! I am loved and forgiven and cherished!” moments seem to fade. <3
Omigoodness. I LOVE Rich Mullins and his story. All y’all have to see the movie “Ragamuffin” about the life of Rich Mullins, it’s life changing.
Oddly I can’t seem to find the movie. Is it an older one?
Hmm. No, not really, it was released in 2013. I know it was on Netflix not too long ago.
You just read my mind….
Authors on the Rebelution are REALLY good doing that… 😛
I know, right?
Thank you, thank you, thank you Deborah! This is exactly what I have inwardly yelled for years. Thank you so much for saying what needs to be said even through your fear!
Deborah, may God bless you for being bold enough to declare what many of us are too tentative to even whisper.
You remind me of someone from the Early Church, who lived during the early 9th century–that is, St. Kassiani (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Kassiani_the_Hymnographer) She was a poet and hymnographer, who was said to speak her mind when no one else would, to declare the truth when others faltered. She is well-known for the phrase, “I hate silence when it is time to speak”–a line from a series of poetic statements called “gnomic verses” all beginning with the word “μισέω…” or “I hate…” which, in the Greek semantics, meant “I do not love this… in comparison to [insert virtuous quality].” In fact, during this Lenten season, Orthodox Christians chant one her most famous hymns, Hymn of the Fallen Woman.
It was so refreshing to hear your words, Deborah. Thank you.
Here are some of Kassiani’s gnomic verses:
I hate a murderer condemning the hot-tempered.
I hate the adulterer when he judges the fornicator.
I hate the leper who drives out the leprous….
I hate a rich man complaining as a poor man.
I hate the poor man boasting as in wealth.
I hate a debtor who sleeps unconcernedly….
I hate the verbose in an unsuitable time.
I hate silence when it is a time for speaking.
I hate the one who conforms to all ways….
I hate the one who does not encourage everyone with words.
I hate one who speaks before examining.
I hate the one who teaches knowing nothing….
Deborah, may God bless you for being bold enough to declare what many of us are too tentative to even whisper.
You remind me of someone from the Early Church, who lived during the early 9th century–that is, St. Kassiani (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Kassia… She was a poet and hymnographer, who was said to speak her mind when no one else would, to declare the truth when others faltered. She is well-known for the phrase, “I hate silence when it is time to speak”–a line from a series of poetic statements called “gnomic verses” all beginning with the word “μισέω…” or “I hate…” which, in Greek semantics, means “I do not love this… in comparison to [insert virtuous quality].” In fact, during this Lenten season, Orthodox Christians chant one her most famous hymns, Hymn of the Fallen Woman.
It was so refreshing to hear your words, Deborah. Thank you.
Here are some of Kassiani’s gnomic verses:
I hate a murderer condemning the hot-tempered.
I hate the adulterer when he judges the fornicator.
I hate the leper who drives out the leprous….
I hate a rich man complaining as a poor man.
I hate the poor man boasting as in wealth.
I hate a debtor who sleeps unconcernedly….
I hate the verbose in an unsuitable time.
I hate silence when it is a time for speaking.
I hate the one who conforms to all ways….
I hate the one who does not encourage everyone with words.
I hate one who speaks before examining.
I hate the one who teaches knowing nothing….
Wow, I love that line about hating silence when it time to speak! Thank you so much for the encouragement!
hmm… there seems to be alot of hating going on for people whos worship a God of Love. i know that God hates things, but people? and are we in a place to hate someone, different belief or similar??
We should never hate the sinner. Only the sin.
Haha this is funny I was just researching this tonight..yes God hates people – a LOT of people! 🙂 Check these out:
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers. Psalm 5:5
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5
Also check out Jeremiah 12:8, Hosea 9:15, Malachi 1:2-3, and Romans 9:13.
I can only imagine the look on the average unsaved person when you tell them that God hates most of the people in the world. 😛
Don’t those verses refer to before Jesus died and rose again though, because then He had no choice–it would have gone against His character. But now that He sacrificed Himself for us, it seems weird to say that He hates us, because we are all wicked and love violence as humans.
Yeah, this kind of gets in to the predestination vs. free will thing AGAIN (I don’t know if you’ve seen it on the most recent discussion question but some of us have been debating that). The view I’ve gotten from reading and studying Scripture is that God loves all of the people He’s predestined to go to heaven and hates those who He’s predestined for the other place. 🙂
I think the bible teaches both God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. Just because we can’t comprehend it, dosent mean that it isn’t true. John MacArthur has a GREAT sermon on this: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/43-15/twin-truths-gods-sovereignty-and-mans-responsibility
Oh ok. Thanks for clearing that up for me 🙂
Do you know that the word hate does not necessarily mean not to love? Hate can mean to be hostile. Hated can mean to be an enemy. This does not necessarily mean the hated is unloved.
Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Now isn’t that a shocker. God even loves His enemies. 🙂
One other thing, I believe in predestination (it’s in the Bible), But I don’t believe the view that God predestines people to go to Heaven or the other place.
Ephesians 1:1-5King James Version (KJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Christians are predestined to be sons of God through Christ. It doesn’t say Christians are predestined to be saved or that some people are predestined to go to Heaven and everyone else to the other place. Where are some people getting the idea that people are predestined to be saved or go to the other place?
“Do you know that the word hate does not necessarily mean not to love? Hate can mean to be hostile. Hated can mean to be an enemy. This does not necessarily mean the hated is unloved.”
Not sure where you’re getting that from, but the New Oxford American Dictionary definition says, “feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone), have a strong aversion to (something).” Also in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, “love” is listed as the antonym of “hate,” and “hatred” as the antonym for “love.” One who is hated cannot be loved, one who is loved cannot be hated; the two are mutually exclusive.
Interesting to note is that Matthew 5: 43-45 doesn’t actually say that God loves his enemies, while numerous other passages say that God hates those who do evil, love violence, etc. Also David, “a man after God’s own heart”, as well as other psalmists, hated those who were evil. (Psalm 26:5, Psalm 31:6, Psalm 119:113, and most importantly Psalm 139: 21-22)
“Christians are predestined to be sons of God through Christ. It doesn’t say Christians are predestined to be saved or that some people are predestined to go to Heaven and everyone else to the other place.
Being a son of God means you get saved, when we are saved, we become children of God. (Matthew 5:9 – the first way to be a peacemaker is to make peace with God by being saved, also Galatians 3:26). These two concepts are the same thing.
“Where are some people getting the idea that people are predestined to be saved or go to the other place?”
While I believe I have listed multiple verses that support predestination before, let’s focus on Revelation 13:8: “everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”
Key words there are “before the foundation of the world.” God clearly chose those he planned to save before the world was even created!
Hope this helps,
I understand where your coming from now.
However I hold to a different interpretation of those verses.
I looked up the original Hebrew word that is translated “hate” using my parent’s Bible software called Logos. The original Hebrew word does not necessarily mean the opposite of love. Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus depict the modern meaning of the English word for hate not the original Hebrew word that is currently translated hate.
My argument still stands.
“Being a son of God means you get saved, when we are saved, we become children of God.”
You have to get saved(repent and trust in Jesus as your savior) in order to be a son/child of God not the other way around.
I don’t see your view to be supported here.
“While I believe I have listed multiple verses that support
predestination before, let’s focus on Revelation 13:8: “everyone whose
name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book
of life of the Lamb who was slain.””
God has foreknowledge(He knows who will choose salvation). God knows everything. It says nothing about predestination here.
My view has not been refuted. Thanks for the discussion. It sure got me thinking. 🙂
How God as the all-powerful Creator both hates and loves man at the same time is beyond me, He hates sinners but at the same time loves us so much, He bore His own wrath. Somehow they work together. As for humans hating, we don’t have the right to hate. Think about it, the reason God hates sinners is bc He is holy and must judge sin. But bc we are not holy and are in no place to judge, we do not have the ‘holy right’ to hate. We are not in a place to hate bc we are not the Judge. Hope that makes sense:)
I am so glad that it made sense! It’s my prayer that we will continue to open our lives to Jesus and then open our arms to the need around us.
Amen and amen. You’ve successfully voiced all of my inner anger at “worldly Christians”. Thank you so much for writing! I know it can be hard to be bold, but sometimes it’s necessary. I hope this wakes those who are sleeping and keeps those who are awake from falling asleep. Great article!
Wow. Thank you. This is pretty massive, thanks for saying what needs to be said.
Hi there, @disqus_6y8yrlUFKb:disqus! Welcome to the Rebelution 🙂
Hey there @disqus_6y8yrlUFKb:disqus , welcome =)
Welcome to the Reb, @disqus_6y8yrlUFKb:disqus!
Thank you for saying this Deborah. For a long, long time I struggled with this on a much more personal level. I was looking for that place of peace in Christ in my own self. I was at war with myself. One part loved the Lord and knew what was right, while the other part cared more than anything about My. Own. Self. And the selfish part almost always won. I longed for peace in my soul, and I could never figure out how to get it. It was a very dark time for me, I was frustrated and angry. But eventually I got it figured out (thanks to the Bible…). God doesn’t want us to love Him most of the time, He doesn’t want us to just make sure that the part that honors the Lord wins most of the time. He says that the selfish part actually has to DIE. It has to be dead, not “there, and mostly defeated by the love of Christ”, but completely defeated and GONE! I am no longer my own. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Now that I understand this truth, and I have indeed died to myself, I have peace in Christ in my entire soul and it is a glorious thing.
Wow, that was probably way longer than it needed to be. I was mostly rambling so if this makes zero sense to you, please let me know 🙂
Makes sense to me. Now I have a question for you: “How do we die to ourselves?” “How do we let go of that dark side so completely?” haha… now I sound like Darth Vaider or Yoda. “Let go of the dark side you must.”
Oh no! Not another Yoda! Just kidding. I think you talking like him is hilarious. ~AnnaGrace
You know, I don’t even actually have a clear explanation for this question. I gave myself over to God, I said “Have YOUR way in me.” And I prayed that he would change me. That was when I felt the peace for the first time. I still sinned… I STILL SIN… a lot… But I am living for the Lord instead of for myself. Somehow that made the difference. I wish I had a better answer for you, I’m really sorry. Now I feel like researching this… 🙂
And I love Yoda, btw. 🙂
You are asking good questions, Josiah! You are making us all think… I’m praying for you still, but would you pray for me too? Please pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and understanding, and that He would help us all find answers to these hard questions.
Yes. I will pray for you too. I hope I can remember all these names. Stereotype prayers seem blander then when I actually pray for a specific person. 🙂
I’m praying too! We could all use some more wisdom and understanding 🙂 Please, if you remember, could you pray for me too?
Yep, I will try to pray for you too. 🙂
Thanks 🙂 It means a lot
Thank you Josiah 🙂
Of course I will pray for you! I have added you both to my daily prayer list.
Oh, cool! I never thought of making a list. I think I will steal that idea. 🙂
Yeah, I made one too when I started praying for you guys. It’s helpful 😛
I like the list idea, but I stole it from Sam S. instead of you 🙂 Be happy I chose to steal from someone else!
Lol, yeah, better to steal from Sam S. then me 🙂 Maybe I should keep all my ideas to myself….
Don’t do that!!!
Haha, ok I won’t. I’m a pretty generous person (sometimes) so I guess you can steal em if you really want 😉 Not that I ever have good ideas…lol
Lol, some things nobody minds having stolen… 🙂
please do 🙂
Thanks Katie 🙂 It’s so cool to know that we all are praying for each other, even though we’ve never met!
Hey, @katietelling:disqus @MyNameIsAnigoMontoya:disqus and @disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus I’m praying for all of you! Prayer is a wonderful gift, and i’m more than happy to remember you guys when i talk to Jesus 🙂
I’ll be praying for you all.
Thank you 🙂
Thank you Haylie.
Hey @disqus_v7zgvL3EXD:disqus. Sorry, I don’t want you to have to listen to my rambling on again…:) But I wanted to add something to what Katie said.
This is also a hard question because no one wants the simple answer, “well, stop sinning”.
For me, even when I least feel like it, I say out loud, “I choose to believe that your promise to satisfy me is true.”
Psalm 145:16 says, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Just like love is not a feeling, but a decision, so is dying to self. It’s being able to live like God satisfies everything, because He does…even when it feels like the complete opposite. To me, dying to self is recognizing and living like that is true. Does that make any sense?
Strait forward decisions seem to be the hardest. Makes sense. If only it were easy. As for your rambling… can I hear some more of it. lol
Nope, it’s not easy, but that’s the amazing part–God give us strength to do it! It’s not easy, but very possible.
Aw, thanks….Sometimes I don’t know where this stuff comes from, haha 🙂
Hey Josiah! That’s a really good question, and I am so excited to see someone digging in to these concepts and seeking the truth for themselves. Seriously. Way to go. I’m going to echo what Katie and Eva have already been saying. I think that “dying to yourself” ultimately has to do with our hearts and who we are giving our lives to (or giving our allegiance to). It says in Matthew 6:24 that people just can’t serve two masters. In context, that was referring to God vs. money, but I think that it has further appellations in that we can 1) choose to hold on to our own “will” and desires and whatever else we choose (be it an urge for popularity, a seeking for acceptance, fame, etc.) -or- 2) surrender our “heart” (and essentially our entire lives) to God and die to our selfish desires, selfish pursuits, and the selfish lives that we’ve been living. It’s been my experience that it sort of means a letting go of everything that is contrary to God and the truth in His Word and letting God be what you look to in the decisions you make and even the attitudes that you have. It’s like the fundamental base that you then live your life from: your heart is the Lord’s and you are committed to living for Him. Like I’m pretty sure you’ve realized, a commitment doesn’t mean that the rest is easy; in fact, I’ve found that a daily “dying” is what I have to do each day when I’m faced with temptations, want to have a bad attitude, and just want to go my own way. All in all, it’s a committed choice of “Alright, God, here I am; I’m yours. You can have all of me, and I so need you each step of the way.” I hope that didn’t just add more confusion. Please let me know if I need to clarify or anything and know that I’m praying for you!
Yeah, dying to our selfish desires DAILY is where i struggle a lot… I have done the whole ‘dedication’ and ‘re-dedication’ thing over and over, but it never seems to last. That’s where Jesus comes in, and with Him, we can be truly surrendered. I’m learning that it’s more than a decision to surrender, it’s an attitude that we need to ask God for all the time. Thanks so much @deborahspooner:disqus !!!
I have to say Haylie coved my response. @Deborah Spooner I think it was very clear.
Oh my gosh Deborah!!!!! You pretty much nailed it. I was shaken to realize that, while I had a general idea of what that meant, I had no clear answer for him. So I did some reading and found some good stuff, but you have practically summed up everything I found. 🙂
Okay Josiah, You have really sparked a deep interest in this subject in my mind, so for the last few days I have been reading anything I can find that has to do with this subject. I have a few rather long quotes I found that I could share if you wanted. Let me know!
Yeah, sure, go for it! 🙂
Here is some of what I have found. A lot of it has to do with this question’s sister question: “Why do I keep sinning after I am dead to sin?” I really hope you get something out of all of this. I know I have 🙂
Matthew Henry says in “Matthew Henry’s concise commentary on the whole Bible”, in his section on Colossians 3:1-4: “As heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followed together; and affection to one will weaken and abate affection to the other. Those that are born again are dead to sin, because it’s dominion is broken, it’s power gradually subdued by the operation of grace, and it shall at length be extinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, means this, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying within them the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise the earthly things, and to desire those that are heavenly.”
And on Colossians 3:5-11: “It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, like weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us.”
On Romans 6:3-10: “Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and being as it were buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life. Unholy professors may have had the outward sign of death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, but they never passed from the family of Satan to that of God. The corrupt nature, called the old man, because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified with Christ, in every true believer, by the grace derived from the cross. It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yet struggles for life, and even for victory. But the whole body of sin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must be done away, so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin, but live to God, and find happiness in his service.”
On Romans 6:11-15: ” Sin shall not have dominion. God’s promises to us are more powerful and effectual for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. Sin may struggle in a real believer, and create him a great deal of trouble, but it shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall not rule over him.”
On Romans 6:16-20: ” The dominion of sin consists in being willingly slaves thereto, not in being harassed by it as a hated power, struggling for victory.”
J.C. Ryle says in his book “Holiness”: ” After all, I am convinced that the greatest proof of the extent and power of sin is the pertinacity with which it cleaves to a man even after he is converted and has become the subject of the Holy Ghost’s operations. To use the language of the Ninth Article “this infection of nature doth remain… even in them that are regenerate.” So deeply planted are the roots of human corruption, that even after we are born again, renewed, ‘washed, sanctified, justified,’ and made living members of Christ, these roots remain alive in the bottom of our hearts, and, like the leprosy in the walls of the house, we never get rid of them until the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved. Sin, no doubt, in the believer’s heart, has no longer dominion. It is checked, controlled, mortified, and crucified by the expulsive power of the new principle of grace.
The new life of a believer is a life of victory, and not of failure. But the very struggles which go on within his bosom, the fight that he finds it needful to fight daily, the watchful jealousy which he is obliged to exercise over his inner man, the contest between the flesh and the spirit, the inward ‘groanings’ which no one knows but he who has experienced them all -all testify to the same great truth, all show the enormous power and vitality of sin. Mighty indeed must that foe be who even when crucified is still alive! Happy is the believer who understands it, and while he rejoices in Christ Jesus, has no confidence in the flesh; and while he says “Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory,” he never forgets to watch and pray lest he fall into temptation!”
Quite interesting. Thanks for posting!
I like that perspective on death to sin. 🙂
What you said is sooo true. Someone told me that when we die to ourselves we don’t even want sin anymore. I have found that I want the Lord more than anything, and He does completely satisfy, and completely make up for the little, short lasting pleasures of sin. They are nothing compared to His beauty and love.
That totally made sense, and it was so encouraging to read of your journey! God is just so incredibly good. I’m praying for you, and thank you so much for sharing!
Great post! I love what you said about people just accepting whatever they hear without really searching for truth for themselves. In fact, I think it is probably one of the biggest if not THE biggest problems with young Christians today. If you are interested, I have a blog and movement called Raise A Light Project whose theme is pretty much centered around that, raising a light to truth no matter how much people don’t want to hear it, and encouraging people to seek out truth for themselves. I welcome you to join this movement, and write for the blog as well! Here is the link to the blog: raisealightproject.blogspot.com Feel free to contact me! 😀 It is great meeting someone who has the same conviction! 😉
thats pretty cool… “I’m so stinking sick of my generation saying they love God but never mentioning His name outside of Bible class or chapel (unless, of course, they need a convenient cuss word).” dead on. i did have a question about “I’m sick of people who believe we are supposed to be strangers and aliens in a world that’s not our home but who I can’t even pick out in a room of the secularized West.” is that based on looks? or how would you pick out a christian in a room of people who arent?
Godly Christians, I think, tend to stand out in their character . I strive to be this type of Christian, but unfortunately I have much work to be done in this area.
Good question! Yeah, similar to what Josiah mentioned, I don’t think that we necessarily can pick Christians out of a room just based on how they they look (as in how they are dressed or what not). When I was writing that sentence, I was thinking more of Christians’ actions; you can be in a room full of both believers and non-believers, yet I felt there was very little difference in actions and attitudes. I was looking for people who could be found serving others in what they were doing and not just sitting there on their phones and, thus, disengaged with other people around them. I was looking for people who, by the words they choose and what they talk about, show the reality of a living God. I was looking for people who (this one is a little more ambiguous) inspired me and encouraged me by the attitudes that I felt when they engaged in conversation with me and observed when they engaged with conversation with others. I hope that all makes sense; definitely let me know if you still have more questions. I agree with Josiah, again, too, that it can be hard to always be this type of Christian, and I’ve found there’s freedom when we just admit that, hey, we won’t always be this way because we are humans who sin. As Romans 8 (specifically 2-7 speaks of), we’ve been set free, and – oh my – there is serious power when we humble ourselves and let God work through our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
“I. Am. So. Sick. Of these people claiming to know my God while living like He means nothing.” Wow, I soo know what you feel like there! I know many Christians who are serious about Jesus and they encourage me so much, of course even the most dedicated Christians can fall and make mistakes too. But people who live like God is nothing to them but still want to slap on the Christian label is frustrating!
Hey just realized you haven’t posted anything for awhile. Hope everything’s cool!
Wow… One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. I love this: “To my generation — Jesus Christ is real.” Awesome article!
Yes! I think one of the reasons is because so much of the church is lukewarm. They don’t love Him or hate Him.
exactly, people are “neutral.” They think that they can sit on the fence and decide later. But can they really?
I don’t think so. Revalation 3:15 says
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
I don’t think God likes the lukewarm church (in context).
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” -Luke 11:23 (NASB) New American Standard Bible
Just another verse to go with the one Ethan H. posted.
Right! No neutral gear.
yeah, I agree!
Thank you so so so much for this. Gave me chills. I am so inspired by your words. I want to live more like someone who KNOWS Jesus Christ, not just knows of Him.
Thank you again. Praying for you, and thanking God for you and your inspirational words!
Hi there! Welcome to the Rebelution!
How’d you find us?
Yes! I wish we didn’t claim to be Christians if we’re not. So many things about our superficial generation bug me, and this claim is at the top of the list! I almost wish there was a stigma associated with Christianity so only true followers claimed the name.
I was thinking about this the other day. Somebody from “a very liberal” church told me to come to their church one weekend to which I replied that I can’t because it’s “not churchy.” Churchy? I immediately felt bad because I had made some kind of judgment on whether a church is more or less of a church. Later, another friend asked me if a friend was also a “strict” Christian or whether they wouldn’t mind having a party on the Sabbath. What? Since when are there levels of Christianity? Why do we as Christians put ourselves into “conservative” and “liberal” boxes? Why has this been a problem since the days of Paul and James with the clashing of legalistic and antinomian beliefs? A person cannot be half of a Christian. A worldly Christian is not setting their eyes on the things above while claiming the abounding Grace of God. Yet focusing on just the law is not setting one’s eyes on the things above either, though obeying God should not be an “ideal” and not dependent on one’s level of “strictness.” Although we cannot examine others hearts and make judgments, a man shall be known by his fruit…A true Christian should focus on the whole package—grace and the obedience that comes from the transformation. But what’s more important than that is Christ in us, guiding us, that we may be children of light and not of darkness. What if we were somebody’s only example of what a Christian is? Would we take our role more seriously? When will we start living as if our only goal in life is to show people the character of Christ? Many people claim to be Christians but have somehow handcrafted their own version of Christianity to suit their lifestyle. When will we all be “just” followers of Christ and not a certain level of how much we follow Him? When will we stop being a divided people and be united in the power of Christ? Asking a Christian how strict they are is like asking a bird whether they are more of a bird or less strict about it because we as Christians are God’s people; when you are truly something, you are not something different at
the same time. When we devote ourselves to knowing Him personally, only then can others see Christ living in us.
Whew, that’s a long first comment 🙂 I agree wholeheartedly. It’s so hard to work on myself and forget about how everyone else is behaving!
Welcome to the Rebelution, BTW 🙂 How’d you find us?
Somebody posted a link on lies young women believe. True 🙁 Thanks for the welcome 🙂
Oh cool! I love that site, although I haven’t been on there a whole lot lately 🙁
You’re very welcome — and there’s another one for you!
Welcome to the Reb!
Great comment and welcome! 🙂
Hey, welcome to the Rebelution!
Hello! Welcome @nobodywithouthim:disqus !
Let’s start the welcome party!…
I too welcome you to this community of Christ-centered commentators. May you find encouragement among the pages of TheRebelution.com
Thank you! :3
I think I have unearthed the solution to the problems you brought up in this post about this generation in the pages of “Victory Over Darkness” by Neil Christian Anderson. He has some very wise, simple things that are key to having passion filled Christians living victorious lives for Jesus…
“…Getting right with God always begins with settling once and for all the issue that God is your loving Father and you are His accepted child. That’s the foundational truth of your spiritual identity. You are a child of God, you are created in His image, you have been declared righteous by Him because of your faith in Christ. As long as you believe that and walk accordingly, your daily experience of practical Christianity will result in growth…The essence of the victorious Christian life is believing what is already true about you. Do you have a choice? Of course! Satan will try to convince you that you are an unworthy, unacceptable, sin-sick person who will never amount to anything in God’s eyes. Is that who you are? No, you are not! You are a saint whom God has declared righteous. Believing Satan’s lie will lock you into a dead, fruitless life. But believing God’s truth about your identity will set you free.” Excerpt, pg 56, 57
Yes yes yes yes yes!!! God, there’s like this urgency in me sometimes and I just want to do something about it. I’ve been blessed with a youth group that wants to make an effort to change things, but still it can be unbelievably frustrating! How can we make a change when all Christians do is argue over modesty and whether the world was made in 6 days or 6000 years? We Christians have the earth-shaking power to change things, and we waste it in petty arguments. We could affect EVERYTHING, but we aren’t doing that. Why???
I understand your frustration, but on the 6 days or 6000 years thing… that is actually quite important. If we deny the Genesis account of 6 days then we deny the authority of the Bible. However mindless argument is not the way to do it. There is a proper way to disagree with and answer people. “Answers in Genesis” calls it the answer don’t answer strategy and it is Biblical. 🙂
Right! If you undermine Genesis, then you are denying the authority of scripture. That’s dangerous!
It is important, but God exists outside of time, so it doesn’t really matter exactly how long it took him to create the world. We can ask him when we get to heaven, but I don’t remember him telling us to clear-as-crystal clarify every single sentence in his Word while we’ve got limited time on earth. 🙂
Let me just point out, not to offend, that your first sentence is a logical fallacy your condition ” God exists outside of time, “I think, is true, but your conclusion “so it doesn’t really matter exactly how long it took him to create the world.” doesn’t follow.
Let me give you an example: This grass is green. So, I need ignore abortion. It doesn’t logically follow. The premise may be true, but the conclusion doesn’t logically follow.
My response to your last sentence, it is never a waist of time to learn Biblical truth.
PS: I am not trying to sound harsh. I just want you to think about the implications of what your saying. 🙂
I think I came across wrong, sorry. It does matter, everything in the Bible matters. But just because the Bible mentions the trinity and one God in three persons doesn’t mean we need to pull the Word apart to figure it out. It just is, and we’re probably not going to figure it out scientifically until we actually ask him ourselves.
When you see a blade of grass, do you try and discover how long it took for it to grow? Probably not, because it’s just grass. And I know this is a small comparison to the whole universe, but it’s still God’s creation and he cared enough about that piece of grass to create it. Doesn’t mean he wants us to spend our day trying to learn about the single blade of grass just because he cares about it.
And I’m not saying it’s a waste of time to try and figure this stuff out. It’s awesome, actually, how scientifically advanced we are that we can attempt to learn about Biblical events in history. However, is it really as important as spreading the gospel, feeding the hungry, or supporting those already doing so – all things Jesus actually commanded us to do?
Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. And if someone does figure it out, it’ll be cool to see how everything fits together. But unless that happens, I think I’ll be content to do first and ask questions later. Hope that cleared it up a little on what I was trying to say! 🙂
Sorry. I have been on a trip and havn’t been able to get on. I think, I understand what your saying, and I agree. 😉
I love this website so much! There is always positive people on here who ever so kindly share their thoughts and their opinions. I just want to say keep on doing what you have been doing. 🙂
I very much understand what you mean in your article about feeling as if your generation is letting you down. I feel like that way too. And I have even been feeling that more often in the last couple of days. I get to a point where I feel like I need to move and do something other than do my daily routine but then I feel the students around me at school pulling away from what my heart is aching to do.
I myself, sadly, have gone through school sometimes without even once thinking of my best friend and savior. And after reading this article I feel really ashamed of myself and want to change that. Now I have been saying this for a very long time but I finally feel like the time has come to stand up and take action to make a difference in my school, church, and community! With the help of Jesus before, behind, to my left, to my right, and all around me, I will be able to make a difference!
Amen! We definitely can make a difference, and I will be praying that you will have the courage and strength to make a difference as you remember the one who loves you so much (Jesus) that He made the ultimate difference for you (through the cross)!
Thank you so much for this post. You know that’s right! I think all true teenage Christians in the US. have been there. Where all the sudden you’re mindset changes from “wow so many Christians!” to “How many of these “Christians” are true “Christians”? How many of them are desciples or striving to become dessciples. In this genereation, it’s our job to find true Christian friends who are serious about being a Christian and then grow with them and make more of them. We deal with things like being in a “Christian” convention where the peer pressure is against saying amen and testifying. But we MUST be the true examples to those who are too weak. If we won’t stand up, who will? Just one is all it takes to makea a cameraderie in a Bible Study, convention, Church service etc. With God’s help I have become bold when I felt like “gowing with the flow.” We can become the creators of a new flow!!!! A good flow! Christ is being flushed out of our culture, yet we must remain strong when we are the only ones. -Me
Amen Isaiah. It’s always hardest going against the flow when it’s your “Christian” friends that are the ones that aren’t honoring the Lord. But you’re right, we need to make a new, God-honoring, flow. Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂
Agreed. And we all have to overcome that obstacle as modern Christian teens. Thaz right! And it’s hard to do it alone….but that’s why we’re not. With God, all things are possible. Kazak, that’s Hebrew for knowing the outcome of the battle before the battle is begun. You’re welcome! 🙂
Kazak… That’s really neat 🙂
I thought so too. 🙂
“-Me” That’s fun 🙂
But all jokes aside, I agree totally! You have a way with words, my friend…
Haha well I’m not gonna be like -Isaiah Rodriguez, because everybody already knows! And thanks. That took me like 5 minutes! Haha My typing skills…..well let’s just say they aren’t. 🙂
I may have already asked you, but have you ever considered writing for the Reb?
You never bothered to learn how to learn how to type, or you never got fast at it?
No you haven’t, I was thinking about it but it’s not a priority or anything. And well I’m not a fast typer but I get along. 🙂 I’m submitting a writing peice in Springfield, Missouri this week. People from Arkansas, Oklohoma, kansas and Missouri. Should be fun. Of course I’m competing in other areas as well.
How’d it go?
Again look at my comment. But my essay didn’t place unfortunately. I kind of put 10 minutes into writing it so I’m not really shocked. haha
Yeah… 10-minute works of art don’t often do well in competition. Unfortunately.
Haha yep. But Track Day was SOOO satisfying! Literally I was SOOO happy, during my race, I couldn’t even believe that what I was doing was real. It was like a dream almost, I was doing unexpectedly well, considering I hadn’t really practiced. 🙂 lol
I LOVE that feeling!
I love that – “We can become the creators of a new flow..” Amen! It’s amazing what can happen when we are bold, and, like you said, if we don’t stand up, then who is going to? May we find the strength to surrender to Jesus and be bold!
Thank you! It’s absolutely necessary. Not just a good thing to do. Amen!
I read your post two times; it’s that good! I’m really glad you wrote this because it’s something so common nowdays. I am also sooo sick of it. When will the name of Jesus be taken seriously and not jokingly. We definitely need to stay real if we are to be the salt and the light. I also found this very convicting in that I need to be consistent in my daily relationship with my Savior if I am to be His disciple.
Thanks again, God Bless
That is a really important point; consistency in our daily relationship is so important when we are striving to have a real faith! It’s amazing how much we come to realize His faithfulness all the more when we commit to being faithful to Him.
Hi there, Marynia! I love all of the quotes! Especially the C. S. Lewis quote (but he’s my favorite author, so I’m kinda biased…)
What does the Latin (?) at the bottom of your comment mean? It looks like (from my limited knowledge of other Latin-based languages) “In a moment we die. For a moment we live.” Am I right???? Or a better question is, How far off am I?
According to Google (what a handy searching device!), it means “remember to live. Remember to die.”. I may have that backwards… I literally just searched it but my memory is not the greatest. 😀 You nailed it! How well do you know Latin? I’m learning basics this year with my little siblings. I’ve got John 1:1-9 memorized, and thats it. But hey I’m gettin there! 😀
I replied above 🙂
Oh, okay… Languages are so interesting! 🙂
I actually don’t know Latin; I was guessing off of the strong correlations between Latin and Spanish, which I do know pretty well.
You’ve memorized John 1:1-9 in Latin? That sounds like fun 😀
It is fun! I’ve learned it from my younger siblings. 🙂
Your translation is correct as a literal and direct translation :p It’s an old Latin saying that used to be told to the Roman soldiers. Memento mori— “remember death” or “remember you will die.” Essentially reminding them that their lives are short and that they are not guaranteed tomorrow. It was keeping the soldiers humble by reminding them of their own fragile mortality. But coupled with that they had memento vivere— “remember life.” Or in this context, following memento mori, “and so remember to live.” Reminding the soldiers that *because* they are mortal and not guaranteed the next month, week, or even day or hour, they should remember to live— live every moment to the fullest.
So “remember you will die, and so remember to live” would be a more contextual, expanded translation. Where, I guess you could say, “carpe diem” is a concluding statement of the two.
What I love about it is that it wasn’t just for the Roman soldiers, it applies just as fully to us now. Even the Bible tells us that our life is but a shadow, a fleeting breath, a mist that is here and then gone. And we never are guaranteed tomorrow— anything could happen. That’s why seeing “Memento Mori. Memento Vivere.” daily is a helpful reminder to be fully alive. The fact that it’s on the end of my posts, emails, IG things, etc. is only in the hope that it might encourage others to think the same way. Encouraging people to be fully alive and kaleidoscope their life 🙂
There’s a beautiful quote by Lacey Sturm (former lead singer of Flyleaf. Which, incidentally, named the album that most of the songs I mentioned are on “Memento Mori”… Oh, and she appears in the Billy Graham: My Hope for America video on this website with her testimony) that goes…
“I knew that if I were going to die tomorrow, the short time on earth I had left before I got to eternity had to be spent saying yes to whatever God was calling me to.”
So that’s an unnecessarily expanded explanation of the embodiment of “Memento Mori. Memento Vivere.” and why I put it there. 😛 I hope it’s helpful!
That is a really neat quote 🙂
I go to a Christian school, with people who say they are Christians. And I find myself thinking, “If these people are Christians, then why are they just like everyone else?” They listen to the same songs and talk about the same inappropriate things. We have Chapel, but often I look over my shoulder to see that hardly anyone else is singing. In fact, I hear people as we’re filing out saying “That was so boring!” and I just feel so sick of it. And I feel sorry for them, not really knowing what they’re missing. And even when our teacher does devotions, hardly anyone else is listening and taking God’s words to heart. I feel not just sick, but alone sometimes, even though we as Christians are supposed to be loving and kind, I’m just not seeing it, not even in my Christian school. I want to be a Real Christian, but I don’t want to do it alone. Which is why I came here. So Thank You! Now I know I’m not the only one.
I so hear you! It’s really easy to notice these things and then kind of go “wait, am I one of the very few who actually am caring?” A feeling of just being so alone can definitely follow, and seasons of this feeling can be rough. Like you found, though, the Rebelution is a great place to find others who are passionate about Jesus and real in their faith! I’ll be praying for you.
OH MY WORD. Okay so I just re-read this article and left a comment much like yours so I couldn’t help but comment on this. I go to a Christian school as well, and I definitely know what you’re talking about. People see Christianity as a cool thing to call themselves and occasionally quote scripture on social media but their faith is shallow. I know I am not one to judge, but people act as if they have no rules or God isn’t really there. It’s insanely frustrating and definitely a struggle to stand out. So, just so you know (to reaffirm) you’re not alone. And also, im a listening ear if you ever want to chat about this, I know its difficult. Your sister in Christ, Julia
Wow. Thank you soooooo much. So, so true, and needed. I really can’t think of much else to say……
This really makes me think. In all honesty, I have gone through “phases” where I’m like “Yeah! It’s time to get serious!” But then I get back into the same old routine. You’re right. It’s time to get real. Thank you for following the Spirit’s leading and posting this despite the fear you felt. It has really opened my eyes. God bless you!
That is so true; it’s so easy to just fall back into the same old routine, but it is so wonderful when we learn to face life in Christ’s strength! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I thought of the song “Sick Of It”, too! Skillet is pretty great. I just saw them perform a month ago at Winter Jam!
Ughhhhh so jealous. I wish I could go to Winter Jam, but more than anything I wish I could see Skillet live! No one ever comes to New Zealand, unfortunately.
Wow, I’ve had a lot of those same thoughts. Thank-you for facing your fear, and posting! Makes us all think harder and hopefully want to dig deeper!
Thank you for this post. It’s a good wake-up call to realize that we need to be serious about our faith.
Wow, those are some great quotes; I’d never heard the one by Willard before, but it’s great! Thank you so much for sharing those and those songs.
Anytime! It’s my pleasure. I have so many good quotes up my sleeve… I think i go around collecting them 😛
This is the second time I have read this article and it still puts a fire under me! This is so true! Think about it, if ONE christian really decided to live for Christ wherever they were, they would be so different that people would WANT what they have! There is an incredible power inside of us that most of our generation is simply NOT USING! We were MADE to be bold! We were MADE to stand out! We ARE NOT supposed to be DEAD CHRISTIANS!
Dead Christians. That’s a good way to put it. Someone should do a counter article about How to Not be a Dead Christian. to quote the Newsboys, “My faith is dead, I need a ressurection, somehow.”
I completely agree with this. It’s been on my heart for so long. I want our generation to receive a wake up call because I believe they are all meant for great things!
It is funny that I found this article today. Yesterday, one of my teachers and a fellow student met in the hallway for almost an hour discussing many things that were bothering us, when my friend brings up how sick he was of the way people in church were acting. In short, it went along the lines of your concerns and longings. I had brought up the fact that I am repulsed by the “ABC’s” of becoming a Christian, simply due to how it belittles what Christ really done on the cross. His suffering, His brokenness, His pain. He, perfect and blameless, literally BECAME SIN so that we could receive salvation. And we condense it into three words that some people use as their only way to describe their faith. I agree completely with what you have said and found it very inspiring and yet scathing as I look into my own life and see where I have failed, where I was the dead Christian (to quote Madison Camp’s comment), living in the comfortable routine of my life. Our generation does need a wake-up call, but who needs it first? The lost or the Christian?
Wow. Great things to think about, eh?
I completely agree with what you said about belittling the Cross. It is horrid.
In answer to your last question, I believe they both need a wake up call. We as Christians are not doing our job. We are failing to follow the Great Commission. The church for the most part is lukewarm. Hopefully I’ll be submitting an article soon about this topic. 🙂
Are you new to the Reb?
It really is! Yeah, I think we are failing, too, at least what I see. We’re more concerned with shoving the Gospel down their throats than actually befriending and relating to them (though this is not always the case). And in answer to your question, a couple of years ago I read Do Hard Things and followed the Rebelution for about a year, but this is the first time I have ever really voiced my thoughts. I hope your article goes well (assuming it has to be accepted before its published, I don’t really know how this all works still :P) I can’t wait to read it!!! Best of luck to you!
Can I ask what you mean by “shoving the Gospel down their throats” exactly? Being kind, loving and gentle supports our message. It is not the Gospel. I think to many Christians today are presenting the “gospel” of “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” That may be true; but it is not the Gospel. The Gospel is this: we all sin. We need a savior. Jesus stepped in and took our punishment not because we are good people, but because we are bad people that need a savior. And God is a merciful God.
Welcome to the comments!!
Thanks! And you’re right. I guess what I meant to say was that the way people present the message at times is overbearing and harsh. We can be persistent and, to people who aren’t of like faith, they are pushed further away instead of drawn closer. I apologize for not being as clear. I agree with you on how people want to present the gospel, beating around the bush on what being a Christian is really about. I see it all the time. From personal accounts, they seem to be just desensitized from constantly hearing that being Christian is nice and easy, that when the truth of the Gospel is presented, they don’t want to hear any more. I could be wrong about it, but this is the case for one of my closest friends.
Yeah. Okay. I just wanted to make sure!
Listen to this witness encounter by Todd Friel: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FY6CXOAIsTc This is the way it needs to be done. The person themself is not offensive. I agree!!
I’m glad you’ve joined us! =D
This is so true,People don’t like Christians because people have shoved religion down their throats. Not usually because they Love God.
Religion is in its death throws. Move on.
So what do you plan on doing?
Thank you for being bold.
I keep coming back to this article just to remind myself. This is one of my favorite articles here in the rebelution.
Ok, so by most standards for this web site I am WAY old (38), but I wanted to let you know that it’s not just your generation that has this epidemic. I have a feeling that all the age groups face the same lack of “true” Christians. Thank you for overcoming your fear (which was just lies from Satan trying to prevent you from being a voice to others) and posting this article.
Amen! I feel your same frustration. “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
Thank you for this! I’ve read it a few times now but it still resonates with something deep inside of me. See, I am not one to judge I am often less than perfect and definitely not as Christ-like as I wish I was…but I am tired of “Christians” who use it as nothing more as a Bible verse in their instagram bio or to breathe an occasional prayer for their tests. I go to a Christian school and I am CONSTANTLY frustrated by the sheer lack of Christianity in the school- and especially in my grade. I’m sick of the people that make inappropriate jokes, complain constantly and gossip about their friends. Whether or not they even claim to be Christians, I’m not sure, but i’m growing tired of a Christian school with so little Christianity in it.
You all need the Acts 2:38 experience to become alive in Chist and His Spirit. That will change your lives.
Wow! so, so much rings clearly in this article to me. The only thing I would beg to disagree on is this – we are called to judge. Not those outside the church – but those who call themselves Christians, and yet disgrace His name.
I 100% agree with the heart behind everything you have said though. We need to be people of passion, of conviction, of spirit and strength, with an intensity and a courage that will stand firm through the filthy flood of dissipation around us. We need to be wholly thrown at the feet of Christ, and reliant upon Him. And we need to be zealous for the purity and the power of the Gospel. Galations 1 talks about eternal condemnation for those who preach a different Gospel. We must know what the truth is, stand firmly upon it, and speak it boldly. As someone already commented – if we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. We need to run the race to win! And this includes being willing to be fiery, to be passionate, but also to be gentle. People of commitment, of faith, who are submitted to Christ. Let’s continue to challenge and encourage each other for the goal of eternity!! 🙂
I’m not sure how this will be received, but here goes…I have 3 nephews and a neice, part of the millennial generation, out preaching the word of God with power. They’ve volunteered to go, they leave family and friends behind, live a Spartan lifestyle, no tv, no phone calls home except Christmas and mother’s day and they are happy about it! One in Georgia, one in Brazil, one in the Baltic area, one on her way to the Adriatic sea area. How do I know they are happy? They write home letters of their witness as faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Their words are filled with love and joy. I served too. I never worked so hard but never felt so good.
There’s hope! I saw plenty of people on my mission, talked to many many Christians who didn’t know much about the bible and Jesus Christ. These people, I described above, young and old, go because they know and love Jesus. They are Mormons. I know sone Christians say we worship a different Jesus and all that, but my response is, come and see. Just like there is no liberty without justice, there is no faith without truth. I know I’ll get slammed for saying this in this circle, but, there is more truth, additional witnesses of Christ that heavenly father in his mercy and love has provided for our day. He knew the last days would be tough and he knew we would need clarity as well as abundant truth, so he told prophets to write their witness as hide it away so the hand of men wouldn’t tamper with it until he was ready to bring it forth. I think there are good people in all religions, but in order to have real, true faith you have to have truth in abundance. The book of Mormon is a gift from God. I feel this is why our country is suffering under the onslaught on humanism, we don’t read the bible anymore and many of my good hearted ChrIstian friends are rejecting a source of truth God has provided specifically for this generation. I think this is why we see the style of weak Christianity you describe here. But there is hope! My faith in Christ grows every time I read his word as found in the bible and the book of Mormon. Change is possible through our Savior. The stick of Judah, the bible, and the stick of Joseph, the book of Mormon, are powerful faith protectors. Satan is having his day, but his days are numbered. It’s up to us to strengthen our faith with all the truth available to us.