This week, Lisa Miller of Newsweek penned an article titled “We Are All Hindus Now” in which she advanced on President Obama’s statement that America is not a Christian nation.
In the editorial, she wrote that “conceptually, at least, we (Americans) are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, ourselves, each other and eternity.” She noted that Americans are “no longer buying” Jesus’ statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
My first response to this column was disgust. I don’t want to think about our nation further abandoning the biblical principle of salvation. But the fact is that Ms. Miller may have a point. In fact, as she noted, 65 percent of respondents in a Pew Forum survey last year said they believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life.”
This may be good news to multiculturalists, but I see this as further troubling evidence that our culture is losing more and more understanding into who Jesus is and what He proclaims.
The fact is that the Bible tells us that the salvation Jesus offers will be rejected by many: “Because narrow is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:14, NKJV).
That verse is certainly pertinent today. People think Jesus was probably a nice guy, but many have no idea that He claims to be the only way to heaven.
Consider this: If Jesus stated that He is the only way to eternal life, we have either of two choices in how we respond to this claim.
- We accept it as truth and embrace Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God.
- We reject this claim and assert that Jesus was a liar.
Everyone needs to understand that they stand at this crossroads.
I wrote several months ago about a lecture at Thomas Road Baptist Church by Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, which I think is crucial for our evangelistic efforts in the modern culture. Ken pointed out that America today is like the Greek culture found in Acts chapter 17, which was lost in pagan worship.
I think this is a very important observation.
You see, we can no longer presume that Americans have even a basic understanding of Jesus and Scripture, maybe as we could assume 50 years ago. We cannot conduct our evangelistic activities with an assumption that we are in an Acts 2 culture (wherein people understood who Jesus is). This means that we, as Christians, must be fully grounded in Scripture so that we can be productive apologists for Christ.
As Ken stated, “You’ve got to have prepared ground to have a harvest.” He means by this that we must understand our present culture (1 Chronicles 12:32) in order to offer the biblical alternative and thus effectively carry out our efforts of winning people to Jesus Christ.
This may mean that we have to examine some of our activities that might have worked 50 or even 20 years ago. Tradition cannot stand in the way of being effective.
So how do we reach our culture that, according to Lisa Miller, has become more Hindu than Christian?
- We passionately and compassionately proclaim the truth of the Bible. Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
- We emulate Jesus Christ in our lives at all times. Luke 6:40: “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
Our culture is swiftly turning away from the Gospel, my friends. Americans are ignorant and ill-informed about Jesus, probably as never before. We must therefore become increasingly wise and attuned to the leading of the Holy Spirit as we reach out to those we know and love with the message of Jesus Christ.