One of the major problems, that is besides their political leanings, is too many evangelical churches preach the “Sit Back and Wait Syndrome”. I know, as I did so myself, that it is too easy to just ignore your Church’s current beliefs in order to preserve your “country club membership”. Taking a stand against something often times means you’re asked to leave as you don’t believe the “right” things. That can be hard on your social life but do you really want to put that ahead of your spiritual life?
The “SBAW” syndrome goes something like this:
- Everyone of us are dreadful sinners and there is nothing we can do about that. All we can do after we accept Christ as our savior and then hunker down against the big bad world and wait for the second coming.
- Since we are nothing but miserable sinners God doesn’t expect anything from us. He has done it all so it doesn’t matter how we act or what we do. But if we feel like it we could try to do some good deeds and he won’t mind too much. The only thing that really matters is that we hold strong to the beliefs we have been taught by our church and then sit back and wait…
- Since God is absolutely in control, everything that happens is his will. We don’t need to do anything in our communities. He will do it all. Neither do we need to do anything to bring people to Christ. All we have to do is sit back and wait for him to bring them to us in his time, not ours.
You get the idea of the “SBAW” syndrome. It justifies doing nothing within their communities or for that matter even making any changes in their personal lives. When they are confronted with those growing mega-churches they say they are only successful because they pander to sinners and tell them that God loves them anyway so they can just keep sinning.
Of course I, and I’m sure many other followers of Jesus, take a very different track on our spirituality. We believe Jesus’ church to be about “being and doing” and not simply believing. We are to do everything we can to make the kingdom of heaven here on earth. We believe that Christianity is supposed to be a very active thing and is definitely not a sit back and wait proposition. Jesus clearly taught us otherwise.
My fundamental difference with the “SBAW” crowd is that they almost exclusively focus on Jesus being their saviour Whereas I focus on him as my teacher of life. That is I study his words to find out what he expects, or maybe even as the great commission says commands, of me in this life. To me that is unquestionably to be very active in my community to love others with the love of Jesus in my heart. He no way intends us to just sit back and wait while bemoaning the big bad world out there…
To further my alternative view on following Jesus I would suggest http://RedLetterChristians.org