Barna also pointed out that born again adults seem capable of compartmentalizing their faith. "The perceptions that born again adults have of public figures is nearly identical to that of people who are not born again. That suggests that their faith in Christ has little influence upon their decision-making, which explains why surveys find few distinctives in their lifestyle and values. Not only are most born again adults surprisingly oblivious to national religious leaders, but they apparently have the same perceptual filter as people who have not turned to Jesus Christ. If nothing else, this suggests that most born again adults are a work in progress, and that there is a lot of growth yet to experience in the renewing of their minds."
This is a disturbing trend. It seems that we too easily allow intellectual assent to the claims of Jesus and the gospel to be sufficient. We don’t allow the “radium of the Cross,” as an early 20th century author called it, to burn our self-life, self-love, and self-centeredness out. The cross has one purpose–to kill.
No one ever erected a cross in the ancient world for the sake of an ornament; it was designed for one purpose–to kill the person hanging on it. Scripture says we are crucified with Christ. Now, I haven’t been to a lot of funerals, but never once have I seen the dead body get up and talk about how great it was, after all, it’s dead! It looked very pretty in the casket, all made-up and dressed up, but that didn’t change the fact that it was dead. You could have said all kinds of wonderful, or terrible, things about it, but it wouldn’t have blushed, or moved, or writhed in discomfort. It’s dead! It doesn’t care who’s who in the top rankings.
All that is pretty obvious, even a first grader would probably know it. But, as Christians, do we remember it? Is Christ the life of our life (as Galatians 2:20 has it)?
Oh, the other thing about the cross is you can’t nail yourself there; God puts you there. Self-crucifixion doesn’t work. For that matter, when was the last time someone decided they didn’t want to hang on the cross (after they were put there), and then proceeded to pull out the spikes by themselves and climb down? Yet, that is what we sometimes do…pretty ludicrous picture, isn’t it?