No doubt you've seen cartoons of bearded guys in white robes standing on street corners carrying around a sign that says "Repent!"
Well today, I'm going to be that guy. Except I don't want to be standing on a street corner. I want to be walking up and down the aisles of every American church, carrying a simple message: Repent!
And here's why. So many Christians these days I talk to are positively wringing their hands over the state of our nation. And they have every reason to. The economy is in serious trouble, Washington is oblivious (and don't think the recent election will change that much), our children are subjected to sleaze every time they turn on a radio or a TV, and on and on.
Whose fault is that? As I say in my Two-Minute Warning today, which I want you to go watch atColsonCenter.org, don't blame the liberals. Don't blame the gay lobby or the media.
Look in the mirror. The Church, the bride of Christ, has been unfaithful. WE are at fault. We—collectively and individually—have chased after every idol the world has to offer. We have tried so hard to be relevant that we've become almost completely irrelevant. We offer no other way, there is nothing distinctive about us.
We have not been what Jesus called us to be: Salt and light. We have blended in with the world so well that we are practically invisible. That's why so few nonbelievers can see what Paul wrote about in Colossians: "the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Has the church in America become the church in Laodicea? Will the Lord say to us, "I know your deeds, you are neither cold nor hot . . . You say, ‘I am rich: I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched…poor, blind, and naked."
Hard words. Terryifying words.
What are we to do? Exactly what Jesus told the church of Laodicea: Be earnest and REPENT! Change our minds—which is what the Greek word for repent means, metanoia! Change our way of thinking, our way of living. Make a u-turn. Abandon our love of self and embrace the love of Christ. Abandon our ways, the ways of the world, for His ways.
Enough of self-absorption.
Enough of going to church for self-validation—because it makes us feel good; enough of buying into the "Jesus and me" brand of Christianity that we evangelicals are especially susceptible to.
Enough of living exactly like our non-believing neighbors, glued to electronics, engaging in promiscuity and infidelity, spending beyond our means.
Enough of ignoring the suffering of the poor. Enough of being ashamed of the truth claims of the Gospel. It's time to repent.
As I mentioned earlier, I speak more about repentance on today's Two Minute Warning. Please, go to ColsonCenter.org, watch the Two Minute Warning, and read and digest the excellent articles and materials we have for you on repentance.
And then get on your knees. Get your Bible study and your church on its knees. Ask God for mercy and ask Him to help us become exactly what he wants us to become, the bride of Christ. Pure. The Church. Folks, politics can't save us. Only God can. He's our only hope.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: November 17, 2010