Summary: How to not take the road of "Easy Christianity", and ask the question, "What can I sacrifice for Christ?" not "What can Christ do for me?"
THE MYTH OF NEUTRALITY
By Jerry Falwell
Thesis: You Can’t Live in the Middle
You Must Cross From One Side to the Other
Many want "Easy Christianity," also called, "Easy Believism." They take long vacations from church, and are not loyal in attendance and tithes. They seek selfish pleasures and have lost the desire for separation and holiness. They have addictive habits, and are slaves to sin. They only want practical sermons to help them make it through tough times, they have no stomach for doctrine or the deeper Christian life. They ask "what can Christ do for me?" NOT "What can I sacrifice for Christ." Too few have taken Christ "For better or worse . . .in sickness and health, till death do us part." Many try to cut out on God, yet keep the good things they got from their Christianity. The Bible teaches there is no middle ground. NEUTRALITY IS A MYTH.
The highway of life goes in two different directions, each leading to opposite destinations. "The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who chase its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it" (Matt 7:13,14, Living Bible).
B. THE SHRINKING MIDDLE IS SHRINKING.
1. There was a historical safety net.
Actually, there never was "middle ground" between God’s side and Satan’s world, or between God’s road and the Devil’s road. But historically there appeared to be middle ground because America was "Christianized." That middle ground was cultural Christianity.
Illustrations of cultural Christianity:
• Bible Reading in public schools
• 10 Commandments basis for morality
• Lord’s Day honored
• "Sin tax" to control liquor and cigarettes
In the past, many who left Christ’s service did not fall into paganism; i.e. idol worship, demon domination, or addictive sin. A "Christianized" society gave those who departed from the church the benefits of Christianity, even though they left organized Christianity, i.e. the church. Their safety net was cultural Christianity.
2. American is losing its Christian influence, even though there is no loss of the outward factors of Christianity.
American has not lost:
a. Its percentage of church members. About 41% of America prefers Christianity, the same at 1940,
b. Its belief in God, the Bible, heaven, etc. (About the same percentage believe in these essentials today or 1940, according to Gallup Poll),
c. Its number of churches. Outwardly, the presence of church building appears about as strong as 50 years ago.
3. There is definite loss of authentic Christianity.
American Christianity is losing the cultural battles. Called "The Secularization of Christianity," the following forces have diluted the effectiveness of individual Christians:
c. Hostile public school system,
d. Hostile media.
4. The eight present cultural battles against Christianity.
Summarized by George Barna.
1. Media mockery
2. Rewriting history (reconstructionism)
3. Declining loyalty in church attendance (membership remains the same)
4. Reducing Christian freedom with politically correct philosophy
5. Limiting Christianity by zoning laws, privacy laws, etc.
6. Diversion of national attention away from clean living as reflected in Judeo-Christian ethics or Protestant-Puritan values, toward the filthy speech movement, gambling, free pursuit of alcohol and a sexual revolution
7. Shrinking pool of Christian discipleship
8. Waning influence of Christian institutions such as Salvation Army, YMCA, Christian charity, etc.
5. Today there is no middle ground.
Those who leave the church cannot end up neutral, i.e. "I’m not for the Church . . . I’m not against the Church:"
a. Secularization is a demanding god. It wants your complete devotion.
b. Pleasure is a consummate goal, to get it you must seek it with all your heart.
c. Lust is a divisive trap, what you think is satisfying may be tormenting to the possessor.
C. THERE NEVER HAS BEEN NEUTRAL GROUND BECAUSE CHRISTIANITY DEMANDED TOTAL ALLEGIANCE.
(Even though some in America thought our Christian culture was safe ground).
1. Total Devotion. "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all they soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt. 23:37).
2. Total Repentance. In comparison to anyone or anything else, we must totally love Jesus Christ. "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple, and whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26-27).
3. Total Discipleship. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23).
4. Total Separation. Jesus said, "He that is not with me, is against me" (Matt. 12:30).
5. Total Submission. Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13).