Church attendance is in decline in America because we quit doing what Jesus told us to do. We quit telling the good news. We turned Christianity into a lifestyle, a worldview and a political party it was never meant to be.
The church in America got derailed when we began spreading Christianity instead of Christ.
Jesus didn’t come here to say wise things. He didn’t come to teach us a new way to live. He didn’t come to start a new religion. He came to die. He came to be the final Passover lamb of the Jewish faith for all mankind. He came to reconcile us to God by atoning for all the ugliness and stupidity and anger of the human race. And he didn’t need our help, or our permission, to do it.
Jesus laid down his life like a garment, then picked it up again 3 days later. His instructions to us were simple, “Go tell the Good News. Ollie-Ollie-All-In-Free. I’ve rebuilt the bridge to God. Tell everyone you see.”
We now have direct access to He who puffed the stars from his lips, the universe from the breath of his mouth. God likes us. He’s on our side. He wants to rescue us from a world spinning out of control. This is good news.
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Jesus. But I’ve met thousands who don’t like contemporary American cultural Christianity.
What I’m about to say is going to push many of you past your comfort zone. Let me apologize in advance. I’m only trying to amplify my point.
You think Rush Limbaugh is really Jerry Springer in disguise? I’ve got no problem with that. Now tell me what you think of Jesus.
You believe in evolution? I’ve got no problem with that. Now tell me what you think of Jesus.
You think government should be completely secular, that we were wrong to invade Iraq, that Scientology makes a lot of sense? I’ve got no problem with that. Now tell me what you think of Jesus.
You think Gays and Lesbians should be allowed to get married and that churches should be taxed? Okay. Now tell me what you think of Jesus.
You think Jerry Falwell is dangerously delusional? Okay. Your opinion of Jerry is duly noted but what I really want to hear is your opinion of Jesus.
I’m not interested in protecting “America’s Christian Heritage,” whatever that is. My only interest is in sharing the good news of Jesus. He alone.
“If the liberals get their way, they’ll make it illegal to share your faith and boy you’ll sure care then.” No I won’t. Sharing your faith has often been illegal and it continues to be illegal in much of the world. The Romans threw Christians to the lions, put them on pikes and burned them as torches, beheaded them by the thousands.
And the Christian religion has done even worse to Moslems and Jews. But Jesus wasn’t part of that. Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians have murdered each other for centuries to protect the purity of their religions. But Jesus wasn't part of that, either.
When did he ever say these were things he wants us to do?
You think the Christian religion is indefensible and its leaders are often fools? I’ve got no problem with that. But tell me… I really want to know…. what do you think of Jesus? Just Jesus.
I don’t pretend to speak for God and I’m suspicious of those who say they can. But I can tell you what Jesus said. I can tell you about the things he did. I can tell you about the people he stood up for, and the people he stood against. And I can tell you what he means to me.
I believe there is a God, and that Jesus is who he claimed to be.
Without question, I am deeply flawed. But God likes me anyway.
He likes me because of Jesus.
Roy H. Williams