Ask RC: What are ten things most American Christians do instinctively that they really, really need to think about in light of Scripture?
1. Assume that more education is the answer. We are children of the Enlightenment whose sacrament is education. But the Bible suggests that the problem is not that we are ignorant, but that we are wicked.
2. Assume that we can take fire to our bosom and not get burned. The world has set the bar of sexual morality so low that we think we stand tall, only to see ourselves fall. Whether it is in the media we consume, or how we interact with those around us, we are always just a small step from seduction by the immoral woman of Proverbs. Her pathway leads to death and her guests are in hell.
3. Assume that we are owed a living. While those on the left might presume upon the state for provision, those on the right are tempted to believe their employer, or even the market, owes them a living, and a living they are happy with. When the market fails to provide what we think we are owed, we grumble at best, use the state to our advantage at worst.
4. Related to the above, we assume the future will be more prosperous than the past. Thus we consume more than we produce, and as borrowers become slaves to lenders.
5. Assume that we are not so bad as all that. We are experts at belittling our sins, and are blessed to have a wicked world to compare ourselves to. We may confess with our lips that we are sinners, but in our sinful hearts we tend to think ourselves rather fine fellows. We fail to enter into our wretchedness.
6. Assume that God doesn’t really care what we do in a given circumstance. We are willfully ignorant of the law of God. And after a constant diet of sermons urging us to be nice, we have come to the comfortable conclusion that the only thing God wants from us is to be nice. His law is just a vague compendium of obscure, likely abrogated commands that, when you filter it reduces down to “Be nice.” Given number 5, we, when confronted in our sin, just assume the one confronting us is a mean-spirited legalist that isn’t as gracious as we are.
7. Assume that a good education will get you a good job, and a good job a good life. The American Dream is not the measure of a life well lived.
8. Assume that the motives of those outside the kingdom are the same as those inside the kingdom. The capital the western world borrowed from the Christian faith has been spent, and the world is in default. While we, in acknowledging the depth and the scope of our sin ought to see the connection between our failures and theirs, we too must acknowledge the work of the Spirit in us, that they lack.
9. Assume that if you have made someone angry, you are to blame. In an age of political correctness we have come not only to assume that if someone takes offense we have given it, but that such necessarily puts us in the wrong. The gospel is still an offense, and if our proclamation of it doesn’t offend men, it likely offends our Lord.
10. Assume that listening to, reading, watching the right stuff will keep us safe. It is what comes out of a man’s heart that defiles him. The devil has a better library and playlist than any of us, and he still hates God.
The solution? Repent, and believe the gospel.