What concerns you most about today’s Christians?
By R.C. Sproul
Reprinted from Now, That’s a Good Question
As a theologian and an educator, I’m biased, but my greatest frustration with Christians in general is that there seem to be so few of them who are deeply concerned about learning the things of God. Some will say, “My passion is to do with evangelism” or “My passion is to work in the inner city, where there are obvious felt needs of human beings in distress,” and I appreciate that.
The recent Gallup Poll of American Christianity was the most comprehensive study of religion ever done in this nation, and one of the glaring conclusions was that as we find an increase in public zeal for religious activity, we’re not seeing a corresponding depth in the understanding of religious principles or in the concern for biblical truth. I would say that this concerns me more than anything else.
Now, I don’t know if that’s what concerns God the most. If we push the whole of the Christian experience down to its bottom line, I think that God is most concerned about how we live. Regardless of how knowledgeable we are, are we obeying God’s commandments? Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments — follow me, do the things that I tell you to do.”
I am concerned about people’s knowledge and understanding of God’s Word because I’m convinced that behind every practice is a theory. That theory may not be well thought out and carefully designed, or it may be something that we just sort of adopt uncritically and respond to by way of an impression and then fly by the seat of our pants with it. But the clearest demonstration of what the deepest theories are is how we live. We practice certain things because we believe that they are the things to do.
When I become a Christian, my heart is changed immediately. I now have a passion for God that I didn’t have before. But God doesn’t drill a hole in my head and fill it with new information and teach me overnight all the things that he wants me to know about who he is and what he wants me to do. Rather, he has given us the Scriptures in simple doses, and sometimes in more complex doses. The metaphor that the Bible uses is the distinction between meat and milk. He calls us first to begin with milk as a nutrient and then move on to the heavier matters — to the meat. My big concern is that it seems that we are on a diet of milk and are terrified to eat anything more substantial.