Grant Montgomery – Grant’s Rants on Christianity as a Western Religion
Wolfgang Simson states, “Religion is what man makes out of God. The moment Christianity becomes religion, it dies.”
If you polled a bunch of people who don’t want anything to do with religion just why that is, you’ll likely hear a bunch of reasons why they feel that way. The thing is they are probably not describing the real thing.
For that matter, in the US, there are an estimated 23 million people who have made a conscious decision at some point to accept and follow Jesus, but seldom go to church any more.
Some may voice the opinion that “I love Jesus but some of His followers freak me out!”
Writes Bob Goff, in “Loves Does”, “I too used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff. … When I meet people who have been fed the fake stuff about God and what He is all about, it’s not surprising that they have a little indigestion.” (BTW, when Jesus described things He didn’t like about religion, and the hypocrisy too often associated with it, he used religious people and lawyers as dandy bad examples of what he didn’t like. That is itself makes Jesus’ teaching relatable!)
Goff goes on to explain his position that Jesus is a Jesus unencumbered by religion, denomination and cultural overlays.
From the vantage point in North America and Europe, where church membership is going nowhere, you may not be aware of the biggest mega-shift in history.
For the last one hundred years, the percentage of the world that is “Christian” (many of those in fossilizing, tradition-bound, highly-centralized and strategically useless organizations) has held steady at about 33 to 34% while other parts of the world are growing at warp speed.
Up until 1960, Christians in western countries outnumbered non-westerners by 2 to 1.
By 2000, non-westerners (Africans, Asians, Latin Americans) had shot ahead by 4 to 1.
By 2010, it was 7 to 1! [Source: “Mega Shift” by James Rutz]
Recall this fact the next time you hear someone bad mouth Christianity as a “Western” or “white man’s” religion. (And this is not to speak of the fact that the founder of this religion was born in the Middle East, where the first bodies of believers were also established and then spread into Africa and further into Asia, well before Christianity was ever associated with “the West”.)
Two generations ago, eminent Christian spokesman A.W. Tozer thundered, “A fact is that we are not producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is but a wretched parody of true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind movements to perpetrate this degenerate form of religion, and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it.”
Today, there are now more missionaries sent from non-western nations than western nations. China has at least 120 million true Christians, who worship and operate mostly from in-house churches.
“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” — Oswald J. Smith
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed” –– Hudson Taylor