The American Bible Society recently commissioned a poll and asked people to identify the words, “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.” Hopefully, you recognize this as a quotation from 2 Corinthians 4:8. But 63% of respondents said they believed it came from Captain America, Martin Luther King, Jr. or former President George W. Bush. Oh, my! What a sad commentary on modern American society.
America may claim to still be a Christian nation, but I’m afraid that this snapshot of American life reflects a country that has already moved in a different direction. It seems that we are much like Moses when he noticed that the radiant glory of God had left him. He put a cover over his face so that it would not be noticeable to other people.
In many ways, our country still has a veneer of Christianity. There are lots of churches around, and a majority still claim Christianity as their religion of choice. That being said, the number of people who are active in their faith continues to decline. It seems that a large majority of those who claim to be Christians are “Cultural Christians,” not Biblical Christians.”
It is, actually, pretty easy to make the distinction. Biblical Christians believe the whole Bible and actually live their lives using it as the guide for their lives. They use language which honors God, live a lifestyle which reflects the holiness of God, engage activities in their lives which express the purpose of God, and actively share with non-believers how they, too, can live a life in relationship with God. It is one thing to claim to be a Christian, it is something else altogether to actually live in that relationship.
Captain America would certainly encourage people to do good. But God desires that we actually become “holy as he is holy.” The gospel according to Captain America might not be a horrible thing, but it is no where near the gospel according to Jesus Christ. Christians will not be able to even attempt to live out the gospel of Christ unless they know the revelation that God has given to mankind. Obviously, that is a pretty significant problem these days.