2010, Christianity Lite & Heart Questions

2010

A new year; 2010 as the calendar is reckoned. Seasons come and seasons go, but the stark reality is that nothing really changes; there is nothing new under the sun. The intrigues and motivations of the human heart are timeless.

Some folks treat every minute of every day as a precious gift, while others muddle through their hours with a self-absorbed urgency that is sad and pathetic, because they are robbing themselves of the sheer joy and adventure of living life on planet earth.

We should feel sorry for those who have an inflated view of their own importance; we ought to grieve for those whose shallow lives expose their me-centric obsessions.

Unpaid bills can be an unpleasant reminder of excessive holiday spending.
Unpaid bills can be an unpleasant reminder of excessive holiday spending.

Cultural Norms

Looking back, the excesses involved in the build-up to Christmas are just a memory now. Well, if truth be told, for many people those memories come with some unpleasant reminders in the form of extra pounds and bills stamped with payment due notices.

We, that is believers in Jesus Christ, do have an enormous capacity to capitulate to cultural norms when it comes to shopping and feasting; we participate in over-indulgence with a mere wink and nod. We load up our plates and pile on debt to celebrate the birth of Christ, the One who presented a radical, self-less view of life and called his followers to the same level of selflessness.

Jesus unquestionably said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

"Why me, Lord
 What have I ever done
 To deserve even one
 Of the pleasures I've known 
 Tell me, Lord
 What did I ever do
 That was worth loving you or
 The kindness you've shown."
   ~Kris Kristofferson~

Does the marvel of God's grace compel us to be faithful stewards of our time, talents & treasures?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • No Opinion
See results without voting

Time, Talents & Treasures

What difference has the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made in our lives?  Do we daily deny ourselves, meaning do we put aside our agenda or do we cling to our rights and privileges?

Are our retirement plans or vacation schemes given a higher priority than God's mission of redemption?  Are we too busy saving and preserving our lives to even consider what it might mean to lose our life for the sake of Christ?

Is our allotment of time offered up in servant-hood or is it wrenched away while we kick and scream in protest?  And what of our talents and earthly treasures?

What about our money?  Do we still think of it as our money?  If we do, we are tragically mistaken.  It does not belong to us; it belongs to God.  Every dime of it.  We have simply been given responsibility for it.  

How are we doing with that responsibility?  Does our bank account and check book bear testimony to the authority of Christ in our lives?  

That's the big question about our time, talents and treasures, isn't it?  Are they put in submission to the Lordship of Christ?  If not, we are merely playing religious games and living in denial of why Jesus was born, for he was Lord at his birth.

Shooting the messenger will not address the root spiritual issue.
Shooting the messenger will not address the root spiritual issue.

Me-church

Get angry with the messenger if that placates or soothes, but of course, that will not address the root spiritual issue, which is this: If one professes faith in Jesus Christ then their life is no longer their own to do with it whatsoever they please.

That's a bit too weird an idea for dedicated pew-sitters because they have bought into all the perks of Christianity Lite, which appeals to the self-involved inclinations within each one of us.

Christianity Lite; all the trappings of faith without any commitment or sacrifice; no talk about self-denial or taking up any cross because it's all about me-church. Me-church is here to cater to every whim and provide a platform for every dysfunction.

The me-church mentality is the grand fallacy of western Christianity; it has been cultivated and nurtured in an atmosphere of independence and affluence, which is in extreme contrast to any talk about denying self and losing one's life. Sadly me-church is the reality of our times.

For me-church adherents, church is a family tradition or hobby at best, and at worse, a barely tolerated hour a week. The concept of pouring out one's life or taking risks for the kingdom of God are just words the preacher says; they have no real meaning or connection to attitudes and actions; no measurable impact on how time, talents and treasures are spent.

The me-church mindset is manifested in a multitude of ways, ranging from bickering and backbiting over petty jealousy to stirring up dissensions to a flat-out refusal to get out of comfortable pews to actually do kingdom work.

Heart Questions

The years come and the years go, but the contradictions and inconsistencies of the human heart remain exactly the same all through the ages. And, like it or not, life is a shifting shadow that can be over in an instant.

How about some serious self-examination: What are we doing with our lives? Are we charter members of me-church or are we mobilized to action by discipline and obedience? What difference does Jesus Christ make in our lives? Do our choices reflect the fact that our lives are no longer our own because we have been purchased at a great price?

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Comments 18 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Very timely article for the New Year. It'a a good time to take a personal inventory. Thanks for a good hub Ken.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Great thought provoking assessment and food for the soul Ken.

We do need to spend purposeful time in self-examination to test our rationales, our pretenses, our masquerades, our motives, our justifications, and our reasoning. Yet, we must also realize that despite how thorough the self-examination, no man can remove himself from himself sufficiently to appraise the dark forces at work within. Our examination must be in the presence of God. In His presence, we discover, sometimes to our great astonishment, how far removed from God we really are.

New Year blessings to you and yours!

Forever His,


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Pamela.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

RevLady - Thank you for your thoughtful & true comments. Self-examination is best accomplished in the light of prayer.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Good reminder of why this season of holicays exists.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

dahoglund - Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

Ken,

Happy new Year.

Another very insightful and enlightening hub.

I love that you're shedding light on the me-church, and that few are denying self. Truly it is time for self examination and repentance. Ken, I don't want to see the messengers killed, but what about a shot to the pinky toe, just to get attention.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

godpreacher - Thank you for your encouraging & affirming words. A pinky toe? It'd still hurt. :>)


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Yep Ken, You did it again the me, me, me generation. I pod, I phone, I movie, ey-yi-yi and a nice close with self examination. Problem is its like dieting and excercise. You can never stop doing it. Happy new year Ken, Bearclaw


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

bearclawmedia - Thank you. That's a great point & practical illustration regarding self-examination.

Happy New Year. May 2010 be an encouraging & fruitful journey for you.


susansisk profile image

susansisk 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Very good article for reviewing our own agenda with God. Sometimes, I honestly catch myself wishing that just for once, we could go to one of those easy churches, and just sit back.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Susan.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

There are many me-churches across our Country and I have visited a few of them, we need to look inside ourselves to see which direction we are going and how we are walking with God nobody can do that for us but ourselves. :)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

AEvans - Thanks for your thoughtful comments. And you are right. Peace & blessings to you.


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 6 years ago from Savannah GA.

Christianity Lite Power Bar...LOL! That is so on target to what I am seeing in the church today...I will link to you for this is very close to the message I am trying to convey in The Devil Wears Camouflage! Thank you for stopping by my hub and I am now a fan!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Highvoltagewriter - Thank you for your comments. And yes, the message of your Hub is quite similar. It is a message that needs to be conveyed in as many different ways & forums as possible because we never seem to grasp it for very long. Blessings to you.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Very good hub on self examination. We all need to take stock in ourselves especially in the coming year, we do not know what is to come You are a great writer, I enjoyed it very much and I broke my pinky toe once, hurts a lot. lol


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

ladyjane1 - Thank you for your kind & affirming words. Sorry about your pinky toe. Peace, blessings & much encouragement to you.

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