"Most people reading this (in the UK) will have a version of Christianity." That is how the quote in yesterday's post started. I want to examine this a bit more.
Statistics from various sources on the 'net suggest that 71% of the population of the UK profess to being Christians. So on the face of it the UK is a Christian country. However in a similar poll, when asked if they believed in God only 55% of the UK said yes! And the percentage for those who actually attend a church meeting is only 6%!
What kind of "version of Christianity" is that?! A Christianity where nearly 1 in 4 disbelieve in God, and less that 1 in 10 do anything about their beliefs!
Let's be straight. The UK is not a Christian country, and the "version of Christianity" that most people in the UK profess is not Christianity at all! This is the problem. There is a massive ignorance about what being a Christian actually means.
Living in a (so-called) "Christian country" does not make you a Christian.
Being brought up in a "Christian home" does not make you a Christian.
Being sprinkled with water in church when you were a baby does not make you a Christian.
Accepting the "basic values" of the Christian faith does not make you a Christian.
Attending church does not make you a Christian.
Even believing in the God of the Bible does not make you a Christian.
The only thing that makes you a Christian is when you make a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ; when you surrender your life to him, ask him to forgive you for all your sins, and tell someone that you have done it.
By all current analysis, being brought up in the UK gives you no advantage in this area. It may even serve as a disadvantage, if like me you grew up beleiving you were a Christian, when you were not, just because you believed in God and tried to be nice!
Compare this to Africa where the number of Christians has grown from 3% of the population in 1900 to a figure of 45-50% today, with an estimated 16,000 people converting to Christianity every day!
Or Korea. In 1900 Korea had no Protestant church and the country was deemed impossible to penetrate. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7000 churches in Seoul alone and several of these churches have over 1,000,000 members.
Or China. There are currently 60-80 million Christians in China with between 10,000-25,000 converts a day.
Or South America, or India... There a places all over this world where the Gospel is exploding.
So, let's not accept the nonsense that Christianity is a "western phenomenon" or a "geographic lottery". It is the largest faith worldwide, with more converts per year than any other - undisputed.
This "version of Christianity" that the quote refers to is what Paul called "a form of godliness but denying its power." This weak and insipid variety of nominal belief only serves to inoculate people against the real deal. People think they know about Jesus when in fact they have never seriously investigated his claims.
If you're not sure if you are a Christian, or what Jesus actually claimed, don't take it for granted - read it for yourself in the Gospel of Mark.
* The statistics on this page are not exact and whilst not deliberately wrong are almost certainly inaccurate to some degree - but they are representative of the overall picture.