Rejecting Cultural Christianity!
"1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; 9 in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines, the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:1-9, ESV)
Cultural Christianity is a religion of heritage, rather than a personal conviction that Jesus is Lord!
Cultural Christianity is a religion of tradition, rather than obedience to God’s word!
"1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?"
“The gospel is often presented as a costless addition to one’s life: just add churchgoing to your hobbies, add charitable giving to your list of good deeds, or add the cross to the trophies on your mantle. In this way, many people “accept Jesus” with no accompanying surrender to His Lordship.” (What is cultural Christianity?; www.gotquestions.org)
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, ESV)
Cultural Christianity is a religion of apathetic participation, instead of an authentic faith!
"8 These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; 9 in vain do they worship Me…”
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, ESV)
LIFE GROUP NOTES SESSION 5
REJECTING CULTURAL CHRISTIANITY
Tradition does not always indicate spiritual worship; Genuine worship is always grounded in truth. God has called us to be true worshipers, not just religious people.
BIBLE STUDY NOTES
Matthew 15:1-9, Matthew 7:21-23
Cultural Christianity has a deep hold in our culture. It is a feel good version of Christianity that does not require actual devotion to God or cause us to actually change our lives. It is a "civil religion" that gives a nod to God and Jesus but doesn't actually save us from our sins nor does it make dead people alive. What are ways in your life you see cultural Christianity creeping in?
Jesus warns us that not all those who do good on behalf of his name are actually his followers. Many have unrighteous motives and don't actually think they need Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What are ways we can examine our hearts and minds so that our motives are pure when serving the Lord?
LIVE IT OUT
Select at least one activity below to complete before next week.
Memorize Hebrews 10:22. This week, focus on these verses, reciting it to yourself over the next few days.
Read through the "Sermon on the Mount," Matthew 5:7. Read it multiple times through this week and be challenged by the life Jesus calls us to.
Everyday we encounter cultural Christianity. Pray for God to reveal it to you, letting God examine our hearts and motives. Pray that God gives you opportunities to combat Cultural Christianity in your jobs, homes, and personal lives.
After prayer, write down ways you see yourself and others embracing an idea of Cultural Christianity. Now come up with a plan to redeem or combat these times in your life so that we are truly living out our Christian lives.