On the Death of Something Called Christian in America

church-in-americaWe have come to a new time in our nation, a time when Christianity is being widely announced as on life support in America. But I do not believe it. Oh I believe in the falling numbers of true believers, of the closing of churches every week in America, of the fog of immorality, as Peter Marshall described the America of his day which sounds like the America of our day, and the rampant ungodliness that has us calling right wrong and wrong right. I believe that the watery, insipid religion called liberal Christianity is deathly anemic, and the feckless fundamentalism of moralism and justification by good reputation may indeed be dying, as sure as the seeker-sensitive, dogma-denying cults of consumerism and entertainment may be sick unto death, but I, for one, encourage their deaths. I would rather the playing field be leveled between pagans and bold, Christ-Believing, grace-embracing, Cross-Magnifying disciples of the sinless Lamb of God, the Man, Christ Jesus, than to have players like that representing, or seeming to represent, the Christ of the Scriptures. I still believe that Almighty God reigns. I believe that the sinless life of Jesus Christ saves, the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ atones, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead seals it all as absolutely true. I believe that the Holy Spirit moves over the dead soul of the most vile sinner and transforms him into a saint. I believe that the Lord is building HIs Church, His Body of assembled saints, from all over the world, and I expect that more and more people of our generation will be gloriously swept into this kingdom of Christ. And if C.S. Lewis was right, that in the end there will only be Hinduism and Christianity, for Hinduism swallows up all other religions, and Christianity rejects all other ways to God but through Jesus Christ, then I am confident that Christianity will be victorious in the history of men. For God made man. And Man fell from God in his choice to sin. But the rest of our history is the story of the unrelenting love of God to redeem that sinful Man. And Christ is God’s Son, and God’s provision for Man’s sin. Jesus is God in the flesh who came to identify with Man and save us through an unmerited grace offered to all who will call upon His name, the name of Jesus, and that is the underlying power of Christianity. As Augustine said, what God has required, to repair this damaged relationship between Creator and Creature, God has provided. That message, which is nothing but the Gospel, when left to stand as it is, will always come out on top. It did in the first century world, with that age’s veritable cafeteria of religions available to the consumer of faith, and it shall do the same today. And because God is God, and Jesus Christ remains the most compelling figure in human history, and because the soul of Man longs for restoration with God and with each other, I am most optimistic. Something called Christianity may be dying in America. But I believe America is dying for a true Christianity. It is our happy cause to see to it that we not let America down; no, that we not let our Savior down who calls us to the noble work of proclaiming the plight of Man and the power of God in Christ to this generation. So let the Church, then, be the Church. Let Christ be Christ. And may this bold, gracious and supernatural Christ of the Bible be unleashed with all of His glory upon the sin sick souls of Americans. And let the fires of revival come down from on high and devour the false gods of this age, including every pretender to the faith of the apostles, the saints, the martyrs, and the billions of humans who have found new life through Jesus Christ, the resurrected and reigning Lord of life.

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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