Recently I’ve heard pastors speak about a need for revival in America. But I wondered why they were talking about it when Christianity still needs to deal with some its overly righteous attitudes. Indeed, we can truly experience a revival in this country but only if our hearts are revived first.
1. Tithing — Here’s a huge problem, probably one of the biggest in Christianity today. We continue to give as a form of ritual, rather than out of sincerity and kindness. It also seems like our posture of tithing can become a Christian duty, instead of a willful sacrifice of possessions. Jesus had much to say about breaking this attitude as well.
2. Prayer — Another problem Christians face is our attitude of prayer. Many pastors have backed Tim Tebow for praying in public. But what about praying when nobody is around? When Jesus said go in your room and pray in secret he was trying to break the public spectacle of prayer. Why aren’t our pastors teaching about this? Besides isn’t the purpose of prayer personal confession and intercession? This means Christians shouldn’t intend to have long prayers or pray to be seen by men. Instead we should be seeking to glorify God by praying as Christ instructed us.
3. Worship — This issue is a thin line between pure idolatry and self-glorification. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem when Christians gather together and sing praises. But even in praise Christians can act Pharisaical. Lifting up hands and singing words without even thinking about why or who you are praising can be idolatry. Besides that, we tend to glorify ourselves when our worship is not Christ-centered. Also if we think praising God in a building is the only form of worship then we definitely have a long ways to go before we see any revival in America.
4. Devotion — This is similar to worship. It can mean the outward discipline of daily devotions. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with this activity, but if it becomes a duty then we might need to check our motives. Similarly, the Pharisees were the most devoted and knowledgable in the Scriptures. Unfortunately, they got caught up in the routine of reading rather than growing in a relationship with God. As a result, they elevate words rather than who the words pointed to.
5. Missions — This one too can plagued Christians just as it did with the Pharisees. Jesus once condemned the Pharisees for mission trips where they converted a person to their religion. He even called the convert a twice the son of hell as the man who converted the person. This definitely can happen in Christianity when missionaries are sent to a foreign country without knowing the Gospel.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Writer’s Note: This post is not intended to pick on or mock any Christian denomination. It is, however, meant to take an honest look into Christianity in attempt to break some of the overtly religious practices, which I find are very similar to the ones condemned by Jesus. Maybe you can list a couple more that you think I missed?