86%, but you Might Never Know it
I believe as much as many American Christians that God should never be excluded from things like our currency and Pledge of Allegiance. I also agree that the birth of Jesus should be the direct meaning to Christmas just as Easter should always observe His resurrection. However, I blame much of the momentum behind efforts to the contrary on His very believers, myself included.
I have seen studies that claim 86% of Americans believe in the God that Christians believe in. If this is true, then far less want to make it known. I don’t believe that the 86% of those who vote to keep “In God we Trust” on currency are living day to day in an obvious pursuit of Holiness. When we practice our faith in a building on Sunday, then fail to live His Word the rest of the week, we are practicing the same lack of reason it would take to get a prescription filled, but never take the medicine. Sooner or later, the world will wonder why we really need it.
When I go out to eat, I don’t see 86% of diners praying before their meals. As one who knows many people in my neighborhood, I’m almost certain that less than 86% attend regular worship. It has become the rule to void public schools of references to Christ. Furthermore, even in my own family where parents expound on Christian values, I see children being raised with an alarming tolerance to their choices of entertainment that are in direct contrast to the Word of God.
This is not to condemn people, nor is it to judge. It is simply an observance of a gross lack of basic Christian fundamentals in the way the public as a whole carries itself. In light of that, who is this 86% to demand that the God they do not observe remain a part of the holidays, tools, and civics of American culture?
Not a single one of us can go out today and start living a sin-free life, but instead of looking to remove things, we can all add public displays of faith. What if 86% of us removed things like Grand Theft Auto from our kids console game collection? What if 86% of us prayed before each meal, whether it is at home, in a restaurant, cafeteria, or at work at your desk? What if 86% of us refused to shop at stores that did not mention the Christ at Christmas?
Imagine an army planning to take over a country that has five times as many people as them, but they know that only about 10% of them are willing to fight, and even less of them are prepared for the invasion. I think that is how Christians are often seen. In not living each day professing our faith, we invite the conflict. What if the entire population stood their ground waiting for the enemy night and day? Would this not render the invading army with different objectives? They may still try, but they are aware of a great force long before the first steps are taken.
For being 86% of the population, we sure are quiet. But we do not have to be. 86% of Christians walking the walk and talking the talk would have a positively overt effect on placing God in the presence of everyday life. As it stands now, I hear more attention paid to gay marriage and gas prices than I do the King of Kings. If he is truly our King, does he not deserve continual worship?
Live each day in the pursuit of Holiness, and it will not matter what the 14% does to our traditions and celebrations. For it is better that the person with God in their heart pay with an empty coin, than an empty heart paying with God on a coin.