This week as I was on vacation in Tennessee I noticed a type of pagan Christianity that I didn’t expect to see but yet knew existed. It worries me because I had this false idea that we, as Christians, had been making head way in exterminating.
As I walked though the store on the Gatlingburg strip it was apparent to me that this particular store was putting out a very specific vibe. There were anti-Obama pictures placed next to Christian t-shirts next to slogans about letting people keep their guns. There was a strong Southern/Republican/Christian vibe in the store.
None if these things in themselves are bad. The south has provided us with some amazing food and firearms. The Republican Party holds values, or at least says they do, that are in ways similar to my views. Christianity has undeniably changed my life. However when you begin to fuse all of these ideals together you come up with a monster.
The one item that really caught me off guard were carefully placed Vudu dolls by the register. These Vudu dolls were for all different aspects of life. Some were for love, others for luck and still others for health. All of these dolls located in a store that was clearly trying to pull in, and would most likely claim to be, Christians.
Now before I judge the stores motives any further let me pose three questions in order to determine if we have a similar type of pagan Christianity.
1. Do you think God judges us on whether we do good deeds or bad deeds?
2. Is our trust fully in Jesus or in Jesus and other things?
3. When trouble comes do we ask “Why me?” or say “For Your Glory?”
The Bible makes it very clear that we are either found righteous through faith by Jesus death and resurrection or found to be in rebellion by denying it. Our works are not what we are judged by but rather on Jesus’ completed work on the cross.
When we understand that it is by Jesus’ work on the cross that makes us right with God it means that we can trust fully in Him. We are not dependent on Jesus plus our good works, church attendance or morals. We are completely reliant on Christ and Christ alone.
When we know our righteousness and truth are found in Jesus when trouble comes we rest in Him. Instead of throwing a pity party for ourselves we acknowledge He is good and in control. This doesn’t mean that we don’t ask questions, it simply changes the types of questions we ask.
The issue that worries me is that many people say that they know this but fail to let it penetrate their hearts. I have seen Facebook status’, heard testimonies and spoken with people during the hardest times if life. I have seen a discouraging tread in the overall spiritual health of the places I have been. It seems to be more pagan than Christ like.
If you are reading this and claim the label of Christ follower ask yourself the questions above. If your trust is in things other than Christ repent. If our trust is in Jesus let our claims match out actions. Let our lives not be like the store on the strip that says we are Christians but yet trust in this other than Jesus.