Note: Filings will be an ongoing section of this blog where the posts focus specifically on issues of Christian life. The name comes about because “filings” are the natural by-product of Proverbs 27:17: “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Stones Cry Out posted earlier this week some observations on Ron Sider’s book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, based on Sider’s own article about the book that appeared in Christianity Today’s Books and Culture.
According to Sider, there is little statistical evidence to show that the lifestyles of evangelicals in America are much different from those of the rest of the world around them. In areas such as divorce, promiscuity, tithing and more, separate surveys by the Gallup and the Barna organizations show evangelicals are virtually the same as their neighbors when it comes to what we’d call virtue. (Be sure to go over to Stones and read the post and the related comments).
I don’t know Sider’s overall philosophy, agenda or the fruit in his life, or the way the questions were worded by the Gallup and Barna organizations, but this is worth each of us examining ourselves. Does my behavior line up with my beliefs? What would someone observing my behavior think my beliefs are? Does my life give people an opportunity to draw closer to God, or turn away because I have nothing better to offer them than what they’ve already got? Am I renewing my mind, learning to know God through his word, even if it puts me at odds with the conventional reasoning (of any flavor) that’s around me? Can it be seen in me?