The Valley of Decision
Modern Christianity has a serious problem. It has been hijacked by a consumer culture dedicated to proclaiming what is popular, doing what is fun, and devoted to what makes us feel “ok” about everything. At some point down the road of authentic Christianity, each of us will discover why Jesus said that only those who took up their cross and hated their lives in this world could follow Him.
What we see in our culture today is not true Christianity. It is a hybrid of Christianity and political correctness designed to offend no one. When challenged by the claims of Jesus Christ it will not accept Him or anyone else who insists that He is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.
In looking at the life of Christ we see one which ended in a lonely, painful death. To the multitudes who followed him, the Jewish leaders, and the Roman authorities this is where His story ended. Only those who were empowered by His Holy Spirit ever learned of His resurrected life and The Rest of the Story. As it was then, so it is today. Why should we expect that the world would treat us as His followers any better than they treated Him and His disciples over 2000 years ago?
So – the question becomes this: why follow Him at all? Taken within the context of this world and an earthy life it makes no sense at all. However, Christ teaches us that this world is not our home. His Kingdom, our true Home, begins when this world ends. This is why Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourself riches that rust, get stolen or corrupted. Instead lay up for yourselves true riches that are safe from these things.” The problem is this: there is a big part of us that still wants much of what this world has to offer. We want its acceptance, its love, its opportunities. When we find ourselves in a place where these two worlds collide we come to the valley of decision.