Attending church, doing a few “good works” each week, being Republican, and/or calling yourself a “Christian” makes you a Christian.
Or just living in Colorado Springs (“evangelical Mecca”) or even in America makes you a “Christian”.
To sum it up, Cultural Christianity is adding Christianity on to your cultural identity.
Cultural Christianity is also calling yourself Christian because of your cultural identity or activities.
True Christianity is that which is your only identity. You are solely defined by Christ and your relationship with Him. He tells you who you are and shows you how to live because you are a child of the King – an heir of His goodness.
In Christ, you don’t define your identity by your job, social status, economic status, education, possessions, popularity, busyness, accomplishments, or affiliation with a Christian denomination.
Your identity is in Christ alone, and your connection with Him colors the rest of your life.
In Cultural Christianity, we see a blend of paganism and Christian practices. Cultural Christians are still holding on to pieces of this life, and Christianity is simply an add-on to the rest of their lives.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
How much of your life is defined by what the word of God says – by what Jesus says – and how much of it is defined by culture?
The dangers of cultural Christianity are at least threefold:
1) We receive the approval and affirmation of men (the culture), and that human affirmation makes us feel secure – both spiritually and socially.
2) We can think we’re Christian (and going to heaven) simply because we participate in Christian activities. We place confidence in our activities. We can go our whole lives thinking we’re saved simply because we act the Christian part.
3) We place confidence in our affiliations or those affiliations of our families – with everything and everyone but Christ Himself and His cross. We consider ourselves Christians because of our upbringing, denominational affiliation, or political party registration.
Cultural Christianity creates a false spiritual security.
as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is nothing we can do to please God.
Only the power of Christ is pleasing to Him.
We must know Christ and cling to Him.
Our cultural Christianity – our works, church attendance, political party – cannot please Him. We must find no confidence in these things.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.