from author Eric Shuster
SECTION 3: WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS?—a Categorization
Chapter 10: They’re Hiding—Not Practicing Their Faith as Adequate Christians
The second place where one can find the Christians is “in hiding.” These are Christians that are not leaving, but are instead concealing themselves in the shadows unseen, ducking any and all spiritual responsibility in a desire to be left alone. This is a Christian that Paul describes as one who professes “they know God, but in works they deny him” (Titus 1:16).
This person is a Christian that doesn’t know their religion, who lives a form of “Christian-atheism,” avoids practicing their faith, and is content with their level of believing without the works that come from that belief in Christ. This group is likely the largest contingent of Christians in the United States today, whose potential is enormous when it comes to building and nurturing the kingdom of God on earth—a potential that is sorely unrealized today. This individual is the Adequate Christian.
Virtually all Christian denominations teach truth about Christ and His teachings of love, service and sacrifice. If every Christian lived the tenets of the denomination to which they belong, the world would be a fantastic place. Unfortunately ignorance and unwillingness are significant self-inflicted barriers to realizing the true potential of Christianity in the United States—thus the Adequate Christian.
The Adequate Christian is ignorant of his or her religion. A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life among adults found a sizable number of Christians don’t know their religion, and are in fact lacking basic intelligence relating to Christianity. Mormons and white Evangelical Protestants scored the highest, while black Protestants and Catholics scored the lowest. Not coincidentally, the Pew scores reflect entirely the same denominational rankings as those found in Chapter 7—something that brings great validity to the synthesis conducted by the author Shuster. One can therefore understand the precept that those who know their religion are more apt to live it.
The Adequate Christian is lukewarm in living Christianity. To be lukewarm means not being a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ while at the same time refraining from serious sin thus demonstrating a mediocre commitment to the gospel. The scripture from Revelation 3:15-16 should scare anyone who is found to be a “lukewarm” Christian. There have been other terms given to these Christian types such as Christian Atheists (Groeschel), Cultural Christians, Nominal Christians (Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization) or Casual Christians (Barna). Each of these terms arrives at the same destination of describing a Christian who believes in Jesus Christ but fails to practice what they profess to believe.
So far we have located the first two places to look for the Christians—those that are leaving the faith (Departing Christians) and those hiding in the faith (Adequate Christians). Next we will locate a third group of Christians—those who can’t make up their mind.
Go to www.findyourchristianity.com to watch the book trailer, find out what type of Christian you are, and to order the book.
Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion
by Eric Shuster
Coming May 2013!