See above a vivid depiction of cultural Christianity. All the externals are there–even a profession of faith–but the essence is missing. Jesus described it this way:
“This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.” -Matthew 15:8
Igniter Media’s description of the video:
“Life throws many opportunities and trials our way. Through our successes and failures, the authenticity of our faith is always being tested. It’s not just our words that matter. It’s our genuine responses and actions that also speak to whether our faith is real.”
Igniter Media’s slogan:
“Mini Movies that help you teach.”
So what are they helping the teacher teach with this mini movie? That’s up to the teacher, but if IM’s description of the video is a clue then I suspect it’ll go something like this: “Don’t just say you’re a Christian, act like one. Deny yourself and carry your cross.”
Our fictional Christian was given moral law a hundred times in church. That law is a ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7). Giving him more moral law will just kill him some more. What he needs is the grace that’s only taught fully by Paul. That same grace is given scant attention by much of the organized church.
James Harold Thomas
Igniter is not advocating salvation by works. They are saying that our works show whether our faith is real.
What Ryan needs is the forgiveness of his sin by the grace of God that comes through a living faith in the Lord Jesus (Eph 2:8-9). This kind of living, saving faith is evidenced by good works, which he lacks (James 2:14 and following).
I have heard this gospel proclaimed at many organized churches of various denominations in the past 35 years.
A whole generation or more of believers that don’t take the charge given to us seriously in Matthew 28. That’s what has cause or current environment.
Our hearts have grown to cold
and we’ve such numb souls
shirts and bumper stickers, man we got ’em by the truckload
is true religion what you have around your wrist,
what does the Scriptures say to this?
The honor me with words but their hears are far away
I call ’em like I see ’em and that’s what I see today.
Whew. Powerful word.
Coming from the Midwest I never understood the cultural Christian thing. Most of us didn’t go around loudly proclaiming our faith even though we took it pretty seriously. When I moved to Dallas it was exactly the opposite. Everyone loudly proclaimed their faith, but I’ve never seen a city so filled with sin–and I’ve lived in 3 of the 4 largest cities. Confessing Jesus on Sunday morning but guzzling the Jim Beam on Saturday night. Craziness.