Audio, Church Life, Podcast, Spiritual Life

TTWMN 110: Part-Time Christianity (Part 1)

Are you a “part-time Christian”? We’re not talking salvation, but we today we are talking sanctification…in ALL areas of your life. If you think this isn’t such a big deal, or it’s something that just happens automatically when you are saved, how do you explain the great numbers of professed evangelical Christians voting en masse for clearly unbiblical ideas and ungodly candidates? How do you explain the statistics showing professed Christians discounting the truth of more and more foundations to our faith in the Bible?

Maybe these people are fooling themselves into thinking they are really saved, or maybe they’ve just convinced themselves that their life on this earth has little to do with their eternal life—is it possible to be a true believer and compartmentalize your life into what is “God’s” and what is yours to do as you see fit?

 

On the Table today

Nancy’s experience at the Y with a “committed Christian”.

Kurt Warner’s sharing of Max Lucado’s article bemoaning the “indecency” of Donald Trump—comment: “Regardless of who you support as a candidate it would be wise to keep your FB page out of politics. It will only make a mess out of what started as a fine day.”

“Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.” Click To Tweet

The lesser of two evils is still evil—is that how God wants us to use our “talent” (vote)?

 

Barna statistics (“America’s Faith Segments Are Divided on Presidential Race”)

Among the adults aligned with the Republican Party, the Trump juggernaut seems to have won over a plurality of people from each segment – except evangelicals and practicing Christians. Among evangelicals, voters were split between Cruz (38%) and Carson (35%). Rubio only attracted 14% and Trump got 11%. Cruz won over practicing Christians (people who attend church regularly, say their religious faith is very important in their life, and pray at least once a week) by a comfortable margin with 30% to Carson’s 20% and Trump’s 18%. Rubio attracted 15% of those active Christians.

Despite a common commitment to Christ, non-evangelical born again voters (those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today, and believe when they die they will go to Heaven, but are not evangelical) showed little resemblance to the preferences of their evangelical brethren. Among the non-evangelical born again public Trump was the clear favorite (38%), equaling the support for Cruz (23%) and Carson (15%) combined. The gap between each segments’ voting preferences was substantial: a 27-point difference regarding Trump, 14 points related to Rubio, eight points concerning Cruz, and seven points associated with Carson.

Among notional Christians (those who consider themselves to be Christian but they have not made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today, or believe that when they die they will go to Heaven), Trump was the favorite (43%), holding a comfortable lead over Rubio (26%), with Cruz a distant third (15%). Among the two segments that reject Christianity (i.e., people from other faiths plus skeptics) Trump had his highest level of support (46%) and his biggest lead (a 23-point margin over Rubio’s 23%)…among the Republicans it is clear that the two candidates that appeal most to Catholics are Trump (44%) and Rubio (22%). Protestants are more divided. Although Trump leads among them (29%), he has stiff competition from Cruz (24%) and Carson (21%).

  • Evangelicals were most likely to choose a candidate because of his or her character (26%), positions on moral issues (19%), and leadership ability (15%).
  • Non-evangelical born again voters were looking for experience (14%) and the candidate’s position on economic matters (12%).
  • Notional Christians sought candidates on the basis of experience (13%), being honest and trustworthy (13%), and leadership ability (12%).
  • Voters aligned with a non-Christian faith (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism) were most concerned about the candidate’s ideology (12%) and positions on moral issues (12%).
  • Skeptics paid closest attention to whether a candidate seemed to care about people like them (12%), his or her ideology (12%), and leadership ability (10%).

Among the motivations for choosing a candidate that were not important to at least 5% of the respondents were: positions on immigration (4%) or national security (4%), and electability (2%).

Each… candidate has a unique map of attractive features in the eyes of supporters. For instance, on the Republican side Donald Trump’s primary appeal relates to perceived leadership (a trait ascribed to him by 16% of his supporters), his positions on the economy (13%), and being honest (7%).

George Barna also pointed out that people’s religious convictions cause them to seek different combinations of attributes in candidates. Each of the faith groups has a unique lens through which they view the campaign,” he explained. “Evangelicals, whose faith hinges on obedience to God’s commands, are far more interested in the character of candidates than any other segment. They are also much less likely to be focused on the electability or experience of candidates. In contrast, the non-evangelical born again and Notional Christians – groups not as devoted to biblical applications to every aspect of life – are more focused on pragmatic outcomes than theological foundations. Consequently, it is not surprising to see them elevate the importance of matters such as accomplishments and electability.

“Voters connected to non-Christian faiths are most interested in electability, the ideology of a candidate, and their positions on moral issues. Unlike evangelicals, who share a deep interest in moral positions, the non-Christians voters are seeking someone who is open-minded about matters of morality. Skeptics, whose theology leads to an emphasis on providing for and protecting oneself and making the most of the moment, emerged as the faith segment most supportive of candidates deemed to care for people like themselves, those whose ideology parallels that of the Skeptic, and candidates possessing above-average intelligence. They were also among the voters least interested in the integrity of the candidate and showed relatively less interest in candidates’ positions on issues.”

Super Tuesday results: Georgia Evangelicals went 39% for Trump and 24% for Cruz even though Cruz was “candidate who most shares my values” and Trump was least “shares my values”—first time ever. Per Huckabee (S Baptist, daughter now working for Trump) said on Fox & Friends Wed morning, “Evangelicals are just like everybody else, hurting economically & let down by establishment on Planned Parenthood funding & Iran deal.” Conclusion was Evangelicals “like Trump’s strength” & “just want to win”.

Israelites rejected God as their leader, and wanted a King like all the other nations: God gave them Saul (strong, looked kingly)—when he failed them, God gave them the man HE wanted, whose heart was godly (David) 1 Samuel 8: 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

Overheard from Somali Muslim woman in Green Bay: “Allah will conquer & rule this country because of your abortions and homosexuality.” Yet Muslims vote overwhelmingly (80%) for Democrats who protect both on their Party Platform (voting for benefits? Principle of taqiya?)

Famed Author and Pastor Reveals His True Feelings About Donald Trump — and the ‘Tipping Point’ That Led Him to Break His Political Silence | The Blaze

‘I’ve Held My Tongue’: Liberty University Board Member Breaks Silence on Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Trump Endorsement| The Blaze

Matthew 6: 19-32 | “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Luke 12:15-21 | 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 17:26-33 | 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days ofLot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back.32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Ephesians 4: 17-24 | Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 5:1-21 | Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

2 Cor 5: 8-10 | Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

2 Cor 6: 14-18 | Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Colossians 3: 12-17 | Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.