Growing up, I used to hear the term "Sunday Christian" a lot. This is a type of person who goes to church on Sunday--though it can be on other days--participates in the service, and acts like a good Christian, according to his or her faith, for that day. When the next day comes, however, that person has a very different set of values than those displayed as his or her church.
The average person has many different personas. You probably act differently with your parents than you do with your friends. When you go to work, you behave differently than you would in the comfort of your own home. Your tongue might be a little looser, and you might speak your mind with a little less caution and a little less thought. It can be much the same with church. When in church, you're focused on God. You raise your voice and hands in praise, listen to the readings from the Bible, and try to learn to be a better Christian.
This is very easy to do when everyone around you is doing it too. Every person in that building with you is praising God and trying to better themselves as well. But what happens when we leave those buildings?
When we step outside, the world has a different set of values; it's a different kind of ball game. In church, we're told that we need to feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, give to the poor, etc. Outside of church, we're told to work hard, climb that ladder of success, make as much money as we can, and be quick about it. So, instead of giving to the poor, we might hesitate, keeping our "belongings" close because society tells us that we're only as good as what we have. If we give away something, we might be giving away everything and join the homeless under the overpasses. Our reward of eternal glory in heaven is replaced with the vision of a mansion filled with many different comforts and servants waiting to take our commands.
Our focus shifts from how to be a better Christian to how to get that next promotion. With everyone around you focused on that same goal, it's easy to go along with it. This blog is meant to explore some of the difficulties of being a Christian in today's America, where there seems to be little room (and even less time) for God.