God “commands all people everywhere to repent” sounds hard, so the church has tried to make it easier (v. 17).
In 1984, Richard Halverson, chaplain to the U.S. Senate, said: “In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture, and, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”
The church has always been tempted to skip the hard work of repentance. Treating the church like a business is simpler than changing the way we live.
Christianity makes demands. When faced with a world filled with religions, some take the easy route and say, “When you come down to it, all religions are saying about the same thing.” If all religions are the same, then there is no need to make sacrifices.
The people who think that all religions are the same do not know much about religion. They are not all saying the same thing. Some people simply do not want to make the effort to listen to what a religion says about itself. This kind of religious indifference is an offense to all religions.
Saying that any religion is as good as any other implies that no religion makes any difference. Lots of non-judgmental, open-minded people live with a cowardly acquiescence to the undiscerning spirit of our day.
Christians need to take faith seriously enough to repent of the indifference that keeps us from living as God’s children.
What kind of repenting do you need to do today?
God, help me live as your child, holding tightly to the truth that surrounds me. Amen.