Today we begin a very important series for our church, and frankly, for our community, whether or not they are here to hear it. We are going to be taking an extended look into the basics of the Christian religion. There was a day, not too many years ago, when most people in American society had a working knowledge of Christianity and the Bible. There was a healthy respect for Christianity and the Bible, and there was an actual appreciation for the transcendent moral values taught in the Bible.
These days are now completely past. We live in a time and place where Christianity, and Christians, are increasingly ostracized from the world. We live in a western culture where the most popular voices in our society would rather join forces with Islam than Christianity; where there is an increasing level of disrespect in society, even in Gibraltar and our downriver communities, for the church, the gospel, the Scriptures, and those who love these things. I believe these failures in society may be directly traced to Christians themselves; in other words, Christianity has, to a great degree, fallen into a pit it has dug for itself. What else can we say, when so-called evangelical Christianity in 21st century America, on the whole, looks nothing at all like the Christianity described in the Scriptures? And this is, in fact, the case. Furthermore, we may not blame society for being ignorant and disrespectful of the Christian religion, when self-professed Christians are themselves ignorant and disrespectful of their own religion! Indeed, what is required is a deep sense of penitence and true turning to God, among God’s own people.
What is the source of Christian teaching and thinking? What forms our view of life and the world around us? Or the most basic of questions: what is it that truly makes us Christian?