Over the years I have seen some Christians “walk away” from their faith.
- Some walked away because God did not “ZAP” their problems away but instead actually asked them to put forth some effort. They walked away and said, “God won’t help me”
- Some found God to be uncontrollable. When He did not do their bidding, the way they thought He should. They walked away and said, “God doesn’t work”
- Some had only learned a bunch of rules and found that mere “rules of life” were far too hollow to address the complex issues they were facing. They RAN away and said, “God is too strict”
But probably the main reason I have seen people walk away from their faith (or at the very least put it “on the back shelf”) has to do with the following principle…
“THE BIGGER THE GAP BETWEEN WHO I PROFESS TO BE PUBLICLY AND WHO I ACTUALLY AM PRIVATELY … THE GREATER THE DISSATISFACTION WITH MY FAITH I WILL EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE.”
Hypocrisy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess) is killing us.
- I’m talking about the willful pretending that comes with learning how to “act like a Christian” and being able to speak “church-ese”.
- These folks “met” Jesus and then, for whatever reason, started “acting like Christians”… instead of living for Jesus. Over time, they found their faith had become a “game to win” and their sins became toys to hide from others. Rather than their faith being an adventure to be lived and their sins “landmines” to avoid. They walked away and said “my faith is just a game”.
- I believe that any Christian who pretends for a long period of time is in danger of “just walking away”. Dads, Moms, sons, daughters, pastors, Life Group Leaders etc…. all of us can pretend if we are not careful.
EVERY TIME we “fake it” in our faith we are driving a nail in our spiritual coffin. It creates in us all kinds of nasty traits like:
- deception, cynicism, sarcasm, mistrust, callousness, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, disingenuousness, strife, selfishness…… but wait… there is more…
- these produce in us fear, anger, frustration, disillusionment etc….and ultimately we just walk away like the rest.
Don’t agree? Examine your own life… in those times that you were willfully hypocritical (and we all have been once or twice) what did it produce in you? Ya see?
The ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM is pretty simple…”treat God like God” and not like your grandfather, waiter, crazy Uncle Lou or trained dog. See Him for who He is….REAL, CLOSE, ENGAGED, ABLE, FIERCE, CARING, STRONG… and CRAZY ABOUT YOU! No need to pretend (fear of man) and no need to hide (pride)
Phil 1:6 … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
1John 2:5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s lovec is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,f that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(excerpt from “Things They Did Not Tell Me About My Faith” – Hixon Frank 2007)
March 21, 2011 at 4:51 am
That’s pretty much the message we covered in life group on Sunday. I think the main reason people walk away is because they don’t believe in the first place. The reason they don’t believe in the first place is because what they are evangelized with is not really the gospel.
They are told things that make Jesus an accessory and not that Jesus is Lord. So when they don’t get everything they want they get exposed for what they are there for in the first place…themselves.
If we stop using deceptive invitations to Christ our initial numbers might go down, but then we won’t have as many people filling the seats who are really just there do to exactly that, fill a seat. Going to have the message I taught on this in LIFE group last Sunday on my FB here sometime today hopefully that is on this same topic.
Thanks for the read I always enjoy the Hixon Frank Experiment.
March 21, 2011 at 8:53 am
The nasty traits you have described. I have struggled with, because of people who are so called “Christians”. My thinking for many, many years was”If they are what being a Christian is,then no way do I want to be like that”. I ran,as far and fast as I could away from God. The pretend Christians are more dangerous and do more damage than they realize.
March 21, 2011 at 10:19 am
I think the hard part for me was realizing that we are ALL hypocrites to some extent. “I have seen the enemy and it is us”. We often extend judgement tothers and Grace to ourselves. Praying for you guys…