AMERICA'S NEW, IMPROVED AND DEPLORABLE CHRISTIANITY
Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911), wrote: “The standard of practical holy living has been so low among Christians that very often the person who tries to practice spiritual disciplines in everyday life is looked upon with disapproval by a large portion of the Church. And for the most part, the followers of Jesus Christ are satisfied with a life so conformed to the world, and so like it in almost every respect, that to a casual observer, there is no difference between the Christian and the pagan.“ Had I been there when Mrs. Smith said the above, knowing what I know now, I would have said to her, “You ain’t seen nuttin yet.”
The spirit of worldliness now dominates the thinking and behavior of probably the majority of Christians and churchesin America; even those considered to be “conservative,” Bible-believing,” etc. They are almost if not altogether in complete conformity with the world in terms of attitude, aspiration, ambition, amusements, attire, associations, etc., etc. And, instead of being ashamed of it, they are defensive of it, and many even glory in their worldliness (Phil. 3:17-19).
First John 2:15, 16 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” This is a reference to the fallen world system of which Satan is the head, with fallen angels and demons as his servants and where lost men and women are his subjects. Greek scholar K. E. Wuest explains that the “world” to which Christians are forbidden to conform (Rom. 12:1, 2) pertains to “those people, pursuits, pleasures, purposes and places where God is not wanted.”
Most if not all of America’s professed Christianity either ignores or reinterprets passages of Scripture like 1 John 2:15-17 to suit themselves, and has “cancelled” out the understanding once had and the position once held by generations of Christians before them. A prideful, insolently defiant spiritual “wokenness” has infiltrated and permeates most of American Christianity. The world of mankind has never needed Christians to be “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” more than it does today, but their salt has largely lost its savor and their light is covered up by the “bushels” of their own beloved worldliness (Matt. 5:13-16). And, "for the most part, professed followers of Jesus Christ are satisfied with a life so conformed to the world,and so like it in almost every respect, that to a casual observer, there is no difference between the Christian and the pagan.“
We are, as never before, living in times like those lamented by Hannah Whitall Smith. How low the standard of practical holy living has become among Christians today can eespecially be seen in the attitude of contemptuous superiority and disapproval that is expressed by many in churches towards those who are trying to practice a scriptural, sensible, nonconformity to the world in everyday life.