On my Twitter account (@DennisBickers) today I link to an article written by a university professor who describes this generation as one who has lost its common culture. He describes the majority of his students as nice people who have learned how to take tests and pass their courses, but they have little understanding of Western culture. The majority have no idea of the things that have shaped Western culture.
As I read the article it helped me understand why so many Americans seem willing to elect a socialist to the presidency. They have no idea of the differences between socialism and capitalism. They do not know the history of how this nation has fought against socialism throughout its history. Obviously, they do not realize that socialism has not worked anywhere it's been tried. They may know how to take tests,make good grades and graduate, but they do not know, or even believe, that a capitalist society is far superior to a socialist society.
The second thing I thought about while reading the article is that the same complaint could be made about many who call themselves Christian. Many Christians have a worldview that is far more secular than Christian. We struggle to think biblically because we do not know our Bibles. We may know stories from the Bible, but many struggle to integrate those stories into their lives and their mindsets.
As we continue to lose our sense of a Christian worldview we also continue to exercise less influence on our society. It's difficult to be a light shining in the midst of a darkened world if our lights are so dim that they are indistinguishable from that darkened world.
Christians must begin to recapture a Christian worldview. This will not happen if churches continue to proclaim an easy-greasy gospel that is designed to offend no one. Such a gospel may go down easy, but it will sicken the listener, not make him or her well. Churches must begin once again to teach sound theology that exalts God and makes Him bigger and us less. Too many pastors are doing the opposite today in an effort to attract more people. That is a tragedy that is hurting both believers and the churches they attend.
Not only must our sermons and lessons be theologically sound, they must also be applicable to people's lives. Teaching biblical truth does little good unless it includes the admonition to "go and do likewise." The best sermons will always include application to the lives of our listeners.
There are many reasons the church is in trouble today, but one of those reasons is that many Christians do not understand their Christian heritage and culture. They do not hold to sound theology, and they do not know how to relate what they do know to their lives. This needs to change, and those in church leadership are the ones to lead that change.