Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Happenings: American Christianity on Trial

: How does the American Christian's walk look to a Missionary who has lived in another country for some years? How does American Christianity compare with Christianity in the rest of the world? Are we falling short? Are we walking as we should be walking? Or, are we on target, in the Lord's eyes? Bear welcomes Paul Washer to the Den today, whose heart cries as he speaks in tears concerning these things. Bear draws no final conclusions, but it helped her much to watch this, and has led her to much prayer...

This is a video of Paul Washer of the Heart Cry Missionary Society, where he spoke at a 2002 Youth Conference concerning American Christianity and its influence on our Christian walk. Mr. Washer holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary. He left the United States shortly after graduation, as a young man, and lived as a missionary in Peru for 10 years, which separated him from American Culture and American Cultural views. His return to America after that time shocked him in some ways, while seeing things from his perspective after that 10 year period. And what he shares with us here gives us much food for thought, in Bear's view, even though it's a message given to teenagers at a youth conference. In reality, it's a message for all ages of Christians.

There's one thing that helps Bear concerning this message, that she feels needs to be taken into consideration, while praying it through for herself...

The Lord knows the temptations we each walk with. The United States, which is a highly technological society, has some temptations different from the country Mr. Washer has come from. For example, the Lord might give an Old Testament Saint who grew up in Sodom and Gomorrah a bit more Grace in certain areas than one who grew up in the midst of Jerusalem.

Bear feels that God does take the culture into consideration when He evaluates where the heart of a believer stands concerning His Son and salvation. We all sin and are bound to be influenced by our environment and culture to some degree in what we see and define as sin. That's not an excuse that releases us to just walk in sin freely because it's "a cultural influence" -- does not give us license to sin. Bear's not saying that...

But Bear feels that Paul Washer does not emphasize this point enough, although he does mention it in passing. And that it is an important point.

A young American Christian who might look like a total heathen to people from Paul Washer's country, might in fact be a person walking in quite a bit of spiritual victory in a country with the temptations of the United States, totally immersed in this particular culture.

However, although Bear sees this message as somewhat out of balance concerning that one point; the heart and overall message seem very valuable to her, and have led her to much prayer and seeking the Lord concerning it, and asking Him to help her see, more, how He wants Bear to be walking in the midst of this modern American life and time. She'd love to walk into glory, being found to have been more of a "Daniel in the midst of Babylon" than a "Lot in the midst of Sodom". Both of them were immersed in basically Godless cultures. Both were saved. (God even took the time to send an angel to grab the hands of Lot and his family and lead them out of Sodom on the day of judgement.)

Both of them were men of God themselves.

But although Bear could be wrong, from the way she reads it, it sure looks to her like Daniel got the greater "victory" of the two.

And she longs to become a Daniel.

Paul Washer just might be a type of an angelic/prophetic call to American Christians walking in a culture that is becoming more and more corrupt in general -- might truly represent an attempt by the Lord to take us by the hands, so to speak, and lead us to walk where He wants us to walk.

Bear's not saying that he definitely is.

But Bear's praying much on it, and wanted to have him speak here today. This man has a heart crying for the American people. And much to say. And definitely gives us much food for thought and prayer. Much of it clearly good food.

(NOTE: If you don't see the media player here, you aren't on the Den's Homepage and need to click on Bear's Writing Den and look there for it).

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