Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide the gate, and broad the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Matthew 7:13
One of the most deeply disturbing things I have witnessed is religion. I make no bones about the fact I am a Christian. I make no apology for that fact ~ but I do not follow a religion. I follow a person. It is an interesting fact that the early Christians talked of their faith as *the Way* ~ as in a path to be followed, as opposed to things that we do.
Jesus himself said, " I am the Way..." so I am grieved to my very core when I witness people who adhere to things & rituals, who believe inviting Jesus into their hearts & warming their pew of a Sunday morning, not kicking the drunk as you step over him on your way in to church & remembering to feed the dog is a free passport into heaven. I'm sorry but it's not.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
It is a biblical fact that many who think they are saved are, in fact, not. Now, I have no idea who is saved & who is not ~ & I have no way of knowing. That is for God & God alone. However it is a broad path that leads to destruction & given our world it is tempting to allow the *small sins* to slip in so we can fit in better with our world when we were never meant to fit in with it. We were meant to be salt. In the world but not of it.
Now one of the properties of salt is that it is antiseptic. Pour salt into an open wound & it is going to sting! When was the last time you stung anybody? Now before you get all huffy with me I am no fan of ranting bible bashers because I seriously think they've missed the point. On the other hand I am no fan of the sort of Christianity that makes no distinction between itself & the world about it. If you are reading your bible & God is not convicting your heart on anything, I would humbly suggest that something is very wrong. If you are reading your bible & God is not whispering in your ear the plans He has for you & directing you towards the good deeds He has planned for you from the foundation of the world then I would suggest something is more than seriously wrong.
See the very definition of Christian is that they belong to Christ & Christ is very clear. Those who are His carry His mark. Those who carry His mark are set aside for His purposes to be sanctified, to be cleansed, to be made holy ~ & those are attributes that are in direct conflict with the world. To be a Christian is to carry the very name of Christ & in Isiah we read: Bring my sons from afar & my daughters from the ends of the earth ~ everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed & made. Yes, I am aware this was originally directed very specifically to the Jews but note the wording ~ everyone who is called by my name. Christians are very specifically called by one of the names of God. It may be a Hellenised version of the word Messiah but it is still a name we use to refer to God.
Christ didn't have much to say about fitting in with the world but he did have a good bit to say about bringing a sword, not peace, about creating division between father & son, mother & daughter. He had something to say about being persecuted for His name's sake so complacent Christianity has me squirming. What do we think we are doing?!
And I am not interested in what good works you & your church are doing. If it has not grown out of a direct relation with Christ & from the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit then it is so much straw that will be burned up. And this is the question I wrestle with: What does it mean to be salt & light in a 21st century world? How has Christ marked me & by what signs will I be known? There are the fruits of the spirit ~ but even those who are wicked know how to do good things. There are the outward manifestations in dress, reading material, work choices ~ but that so easily slides into legalism. How am I distinct from the world around me & by what means will the world know that though I am forced to be in it I do not belong to it? And the choices I make become my witness & a testimony. For better or worse.