Monday, December 23, 2013

Losing My Religion

Before you jump to conclusions, I haven't lost my religion, but I sure have learned a lot about it these last few weeks.

People in Perú and the States often ask me what the difference is between church here and there. I've always struggled with that question as there are many churches with different traditions, practices, and interpretations of the Word of God. I have finally come to the conclusion! Are you ready for it?

Aside from the fact that in Perú it is not divided Catholics and Protestants but rather Catholics and Christians, they have a much more urgent outlook about their Christianity. Evangelical Christianity in Perú is relatively new, and almost everyone I have met has an incredible story about how the Lord saved them from a life of alcohol, drugs, etc. These people are on fire.

Here's where the difference comes into play. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, because I would love to hear your opinion. In America, we are such an individualistic people that we see what the Lord has done in our life and how He has saved us, and that is sufficient. We are saved. Now we have the rest of our life to just kinda study the bible and have some good fellowship until we die and go to Heaven. We go about things so casually. From talking to the Peruvian believers I know, you would think the second coming was tomorrow! Daily evangelizing through our actions and words is a given. The church doesn't necessarily demand everyone to go out and evangelize, but it should be clear to anybody you come into contact with that you lead a life that is set apart from the rest.

In the States, we try to put our worldly preferences on God.
"Well, I don't like how that church plays music, so I want to go to another church."
"That pastor kinda rubs me the wrong way. His sermons are too long and I get bored."
The fact of the matter is, the Word of God is the Word of God, and any biblical teaching is good as long as it truly is biblical. I realize it is a little different here because at my church they don't listen to worldly music (not even Phil Wickham!), they don't dance, many women wear long skirts, etc. Their Christianity is simple. You follow Jesus or you don't. You dedicate your life to the Lord or you don't. The gray area doesn't exist. American Christians (as a huge generalization) are lukewarm. How many times have we gone out to party on a Saturday night and then rolled into church on Sunday like it was no big deal? How many times have we spoken badly about a brother or sister until they walk in the door and then suddenly they become one of our closest friends?

The Lord wants our hearts fully and He wants us to delight in Him without partaking of the things of this world. 1 John 2:15 says
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them."
I haven't written this blog to call anyone out or even so say that I have all the answers now and am sure I won't fall into temptation. However, I have written it to help us realize that doing the bare minimum by confessing Jesus is the son of God and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9) is sufficient enough to get us into Heaven but that not changing our lives to reflect these views isn't holy and pleasing to God. Don't you want the One who gave you everything to be pleased and proud of you? We do that with our superiors here on the Earth, so why not for the One who created it all?

So where does it all start? I don't pretend to have all the answers. I know I don't because out of my pure laziness, I haven't studied the Bible like I should have in all the years I have been going to church. I've been able to slide by without it. But let me tell you friends, that's where the answers are. Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:9
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

There you have it, friends. Read the Word to fortify and edificar yourself, spread the Good News, and quit wasting time. The time is now!


  1. Amen, sista...Jesus spits lukewarm out of his mouth...I'd say that's a line in the sand...all or nothing...he wants your love and we are so unworthy... so thankful he brought/is grace!

  2. Amen, sista...Jesus spits lukewarm out of his mouth...I'd say that's a line in the sand...all or nothing...he wants your love and we are so unworthy... so thankful he brought/is grace!