Monday, February 04, 2013


We Do Not Own Our Faith

Think Christian:
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Jonathan Merritt’s new book, A Faith of Our Own.

Some of today’s leading Christian entities and voices show new life as they support a broadening agenda. Still socially conservative on many issues, they feel called to attend to issues that most Christians haven’t championed in the past.

For example, the great majority of young Christians still believe that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. At the same time, interest in social justice issues is growing among all Christians (especially young people). According to in-depth research by LifeWay, 66 percent of young churchgoers claim that “social action is an extremely important part of their lives.” Yet, few believe they will see “a significant contribution” from current Christian leadership in addressing these issues.
It is rare that I am as dismissive of something as I am of the book title "A Faith of Our Own." It just strikes me as so wrong I can hardly stand it. Faith in God just is not about us. I could get all Reformed here and discuss how even faith is a gift of grace, but that would, I think miss the real point. Faith in God is about God - not us.

I am struck by how doing the right thing in the wrong way always becomes a problem. Traditional worship is "staid and boring" not because it is inherently staid and boring, but because those of us that appreciate it have made it about us - not God. Feeding the poor is a great thing, except for the fact that it is usually more about the feeder feeling good about themselves than it is the feedee getting what they need and meeting God in the process.

The next generation does not need "a faith of their own," what they need to to succeed where my generation failed. They need to serve God, not try to figure out how God can serve them.
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