04 Feb '14
Transformation of hearts: Is it the kind you really desire?
The secular culture of the developed world - including the United States is increasingly moving toward a secular evangelicalism. By that I mean an evangelical lifestyle that embraces the secular culture in which we live because it has been deeply influenced by its culture far more than it has and is being influenced by its Lord and His word.
Rather than God being the transformer of hearts it is often our culture that is the transformer of hearts. What we must remember is that heart transformation is always taking place. The question is what the source of that transformation is: the culture in which we live or the God we claim to follow.
Think with me about the marks of a secular world view compared to the marks of a Christian world view and as you do so, think about the Christ followers in your congregation.
Money: The secular world view sees our resources as ours to do with as we please while the Christian world view sees ourselves as stewards of God's resources to use for His purposes.
Time: The secular world view sees time as mine to do with as I please. The Christian world view sees time as God's and puts His interests before my interests.
Options: The secular world view sees life as picking and choosing between any number of almost unlimited options that will bring one happiness. The Christian world view asks the question: What did God place me on earth for and what priorities does God have for my life? And then focuses on those things that God has called us to do.
Truth: The secular world view sees truth as relative. This is convenient because it allow me to determine what is truly true or not. The Christian world view sees God as the arbiter of truth, believes His word is actually true and does not negotiate truth to fit my convenience.
Sufficiency: The secular world view believes we are self sufficient, able to determine our own destiny and therefore does not need a God to guide our lives. A Christian world view sees God as the only sufficient One and that faith and followership are the only way to live life.
Now stop for a moment and consider just those five marks of secular culture as apposed to a Christian world view. As I look at the western church today, I would argue that we are far closer to a secular world view than we are to a Christian world view. Hearts are being transformed but by the wrong source.
The sad thing is that most Christ followers in the west don't even understand that they have a world view or that there is a Christian world view. They are not being challenged to see life from God's perspective rather from culture's perspective. They would be amazed if they understood how closely their life views reflected their secular culture rather than God's world view and His culture.
Culture is a powerful force. It is only as Christian leaders - and pastors - challenge people to understand God's culture and then live that culture out by swimming against the tide of secular culture that we will see any change.
There is much talk today about transformation. What we need to understand is that transformation is taking place, but not the transformation want to see take place. But until we help people understand what a Christian world view looks like and live out a radically different lifestyle based on that worldview we will continue to drift further into a secular evangelicalism. Soon it is no longer evangelical but why mix facts with reality.