Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Religion Without the Pews

inthenewsA majority of Canadians celebrated Easter over the weekend but not all of them went to church.

While 73 per cent of Canadians responding to a poll by Ipsos-Reid believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected to eternal life and 62 per cent agreed that through his life, death and resurrection, God provided the way for the forgiveness of sins, just 17 per cent said they attend church regularly.

A year ago, Pope Benedict — then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — lamented that the church was like a boat about to sink and that “a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord.”

Not to quibble with the infallible, but Christians’ faith in the Lord seems pretty solid. It’s the church they’ve abandoned.

Granted that 17 per cent think Jesus’s death on the cross was faked and that he married and had a family, but 41 per cent say they’ve committed themselves to Christ and 20 per cent believe the world will end in the Battle of Armeggedon between Jesus and the Antichrist. About 42 per cent say they’ve had the feeling that they were in the presence of God and 29 per cent report a religious or mystical experience that was a moment of sudden religious insight and awakening.

In the 2001 census, 72 per cent of Canadians identified themselves as either Roman Catholic or Protestant. That’s down from 80 per cent a decade earlier, but it’s still a respectable showing.

How do we correlate the embrace of Christianity by the majority with the evidence that only 11 per cent of Canadians say they go to church once a week? Canadians apparently buy into Christianity but avoid the institutions that sell the faith.

Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, April 21, 2006


While unidentified by the author, what is recounted in the above article is a desire for faith without conviction. Too many today want to play at being a Christian, rather than live up to the calling to which they are called. “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10).

Diligence, steadfastness, zeal, a “first love.” All of these terms describe a walk that is seldom seen among those who profess to be followers of Christ. How can one say they have committed themselves to Christ, if they are unwilling to heed His commands?

One of God’s given commands is related in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Serving Christ takes committment, and a part of that committment taking your spot in the pew on the Lord’s day.