Knowing “right answers” doesn’t mean we believe those answers. To believe is to live in a way where we act as though they are true.
We can “know” the right answers about salvation, Jesus, etc. Living out what Jesus said becomes another matter. How can we possibly say we believe in Christ and then NOT do what he said? How can NOT live out the principles he modeled for us? Yet, we do it all the time.
That is the very definition of “cultural Christianity.” And that is what we have fallen to in American evangelical Christianity. We have reduced the Kingdom of God to “hearing the right words” instead of observing the fruit of the Kingdom that is produced… or the lack thereof.
We have become proficient at saying some key words that get people comfortable, but we then act in ways that make those “beliefs” hollow.
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he didn’t mean mimic the words he said to pray and then go do what you want. He meant, “Watch what I do… then get out there and do the same.” It’s exactly what he instructed the 72. “You’ve seen me heal. You’ve seen me cast out demons. You’ve seen me proclaim the good news. Go practice. Then, let’s come back and go over how it went.”
We have to move beyond wanting to hear the “right words” to insisting on good fruit as well. And in that, we don’t do so well. Evangelical Christianity has become a cultural way of life. We must regain the sense of what it means to intentionally follow Christ.