What’s the Difference?
Are Christians supposed to be different? How? From what?
A 2001 Barna poll in the United States found that amongst ‘born-again’ Christians, 33% of marriages ended in divorce. Non ‘born-again’ people – 34%. Not much difference.
Since 1993, 2.4 million teens have signed a pledge through the ‘True Love Waits’ campaign promising to wait until marriage for sexual intercourse. A 2004 study tracked 12,000 of those teens and found that 88% of them didn’t wait. It also found that the rate of STD’s in the group that pledged was about the same as the general population.
We could talk about giving, racism and spousal abuse (higher in marriages that emphasize traditional roles). Research shows that Christians are not living very differently from those who do not claim to be Christian.
The Christian faith claims that in Christ we are a new creation, the old has passed the new has come. We claim that the Holy Spirit of God lives in us and gives us everything we need for life and godliness. We are to be holy because God is holy.
So, what’s the difference?
I have been thinking about this question for a bit. It troubles me because, like many church kids I am sure, I grew up being told that Christians need to be different by behaving differently.
I struggle by focusing too much on the outcome, being different, than I did on the process, living out Christ. The life we received when we were born-again is very different. It is divine. It behaves differently if we allow it.
What does that difference look like? I like to keep it simple. My son’s memory verse for the next 2 weeks is Galatians 5:22-23. If you don’t want to look it up, ask him what it is the next time you see him.