Untangled: Where Have All the Devoted Christians Gone?

In our Untangled feature, we answer questions posed to us from our readers. Today’s submission comes from Jon: Throughout my short life, I have come across a small amount...

In our Untangled feature, we answer questions posed to us from our readers. Today’s submission comes from Jon:

Throughout my short life, I have come across a small amount of “devoted Christians.” An amount so small, in fact, I can count them with one hand. I have my own belief why this is so: God would not place every light in a single location, as no light would shine in a place it is needed. As Christians, I believe we would be “the light”, though it does… ‘irk’ me, sometimes, to see how the people with the best morals around me are partying every weekend (meaning getting drunk and/or arrested for public intoxication, or for drug use). Here is my question: I have my own belief as to what it is, but why does God not place a few more lights around each other, to provide some form of support? Why is it that the only devoted Christians I find are online and not in my actual, immediate life?

Thank you for coming to us for a response, Jon! Your situation isn’t a unique one, but your response is definitely a little different, and gave me food for thought. I certainly believe that God moves us to different places often to shine his light in the dark – I definitely agree with you there.

You also bring up that interesting idea that you’ve found more devoted Christians online than in real life. Online interaction is amazing, of course – when we might be sinking into mire because we’re stuck where we are, the online medium has given us an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships we couldn’t otherwise have. I think most of us under a certain age could list a number of intimate friends with whom we’ve never interacted with in a physical setting. Christianity is no different – believers online can encourage and strengthen one another, which is especially vital if individuals are in places where the believers aren’t seeking to live Christ-centered lives.

The hypocrisy of Christians has also been a problem – we see it continually in scripture right up through today. And can I say it irks me when I see Christians in America doing very unloving things while saying their faith is most important to them, when it’s actually the “moral values” they grew up with, rather than he gospel message, that take prime importance; otherwise, they would be devoted to showering love and the message of Christ upon others.

Still, there thriving communities of devoted Christians are out there. I’ve been a part of a number of wonderful churches here in my city, plugging into small groups full of people being transformed by the gospel message, living out loving lives and caring for those around them. The Christians are out there, and sometimes in large numbers (as they need to be to impact cities or other large groups of people). It might be that you just haven’t found a strong community where you are. Maybe, hopefully, you’ll find a more steadfast group of believers in RL to mutually encourage, one that you can push to grow and that will push back, as iron sharpens iron. And if not, I pray that the online group of Christians you know can function in that manner for you, for it sounds as if you may be where you for a reason – a missionary, of sorts, in a field that needs the grace of God.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Justin Foster
    21 December 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Short and sweet read. Jon’s feelings are common among believers intensely passionate about their relationship and walk with the Lord. It’s felt even more at the earlier stages in Christ when God is cutting off a lot of the unwholesome connections we once held to people and things. That time or term of isolation is painful. Elijah, the prophet, felt this way during the Jezebel ‘saga,’ as Paul summarizes,

    “Lord, they have killed your prophets and demolished your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.”But what was the divine reply to him? “I have reserved for myself 7,000 people who have not knelt to worship Baal.” (Romans 11:3,4; see also 1 Kings 19)

    These times can actually drive us to cling closer to the Lord and earnestly seek to find and create on-fire fellowships.

    My friends and I went through a season of going to various churches and ending up at the same church which we all ended up leaving. Drawing away from the traditional “church” system, we began to just have a weekly Bible Study over one friend’s house and it has been growing in fantastic ways too numerous to speak of in this comment.

    Nevertheless, appreciate the post and may the grace, peace, and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ continue with all of you who call upon the Lord in sincerity. Much love.

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  • Lady_TeresaChristina
    21 December 2015 at 7:16 pm

    This is a topic that I actually discussed in great depth with an important adult in my life this morning. Funny enough, some of the people who have hurt me the most were apart of my church. Even though we were all Christians, I still felt extraordinarily alone because fellow church goers kept excluded me again and again. My friend this morning had me take this instance and a couple others and try and figure out what God taught me through them. As painful as it was being alone, God did and is doing a lot in my life through the solitude, and there are stories in the bible of the exact same thing. But humans were not meant to be alone, and God does want to to be in fellowship with others who share and live out the same faith. I will be praying that God’s people can find each other, hopefully physically, but I’m learning more and more how the internet can be a segway to important relationships.

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  • LGrey
    21 December 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Some VR chat room like in Sword Art Online and Accel World would be useful in this case, don’t you think?

    Since we don’t have it yet, perhaps it is time for us to actually step up and create something, a platform that makes it easier to communicate. I’m not a text person; communicating by writing is torture for me.

    There’s got to be some way, some kind of an ongoing collaboration, to rallying support/ presence from strong healthy nodes to weakened nodes online – offline.

    We should create a real life Sket Dance.

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