Why Do So Many Christians Live this Way?

The section quoted below was part of last night’s discipleship group meeting. The authors then asks the reader to reflect on the evidence for their own walk with Christ in relation to Luke 6:40.

But the broad question of why so many who profess to be Christians, but don’t actually follow Christ as evidenced by a changed life is not addressed.

When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus’s call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did.

It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). That’s the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process.

Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a “Christian” without being like Christ. A “follower” who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, “Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.” Seriously?

No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way? It appears that we’ve lost sight of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The concept of being a disciple isn’t difficult to understand, but it affects everything.1

Maybe more insight will be gained on the “why” question as we move forward and give personal reflection/confession on the topics covered in the book.

What do you think is the answer to the “why” question?

  1. Francis Chan and Mark Beuving, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2012), 16-17. emphasis added.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennyelaine January 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Because they don’t want to do what Jesus did or what He commanded. It would be too inconvenient.They don’t want to treat people the way they would want to be treated on a regular basis…especially some people. They don’t want to be a servant of all, only those they think are deserving. They don’t want to have to take up their cross and follow…because that would mean having to put others as equally as important or even as more important than self. They want to be saved and have heaven, but not be changed into His likeness. They don’t want to have to go against the grain like Jesus did many times. They want to hold onto their pride and do things the way they have always done them…that’s why.

2 Ajay Pollarine January 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I’d argue that for many, the reason they’re capable of living opposite of the Christ they’ve claimed is because they’re unsaved, un-disciplined, or un-discipled

Jesus himself said that there would be plenty of men and women who would call him Lord but he never knew. Just as he also warned that there would be those who said “here is Christ” but were leading others astray. In many cases people turn to a Jesus they think is good for them but aren’t willing to break themselves on the Cross. It’s a matter of Godly sorrow and repentance. The unsaved couldn’t live like a Christian if they wanted to, for all their ability to morally do right and abstain from wrong, their hearts are the ones doing the work and not God; eventually that begins to show in their lifestyle.

Then there’s the issue of un-discipled Christians. They’ve been given the truth, they’ve repented and they’re forgiven, but no one’s discipled them beyond that. They have salvation but not direction or power, so they continue in what they’re doing, with only their faintest newborn connection to the Holy Ghost to be their guide, they may throw a few things out of their lives, but they lack the teaching of the Word of God to know how to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” These people are often the result of terrible churches and lazy believers who think their job is done when they’ve witnessed to a man and he becomes saved.

Finally there’s the un-disciplined Christian: this one may have an upbringing that has fed him the Word, he’s saved and he’s always urged by God to change, but he’s too wrapped up in what he’s doing to let the Holy Ghost beat him across the anvil. More often than not this is a matter of spirit needing broken, this man is just lacking the surrender needed to let God take over. In this case, without surrender this person does nothing for God and never will.

3 Christiane January 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Maybe the answer to the ‘why’ is that it’s easier to finger point at ‘sinners’ than to kneel before Christ as one yourself . . .

4 MaryMag January 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Christiane, you seem to make the assumption that those who would point and this call sin as sin do not themselves fall before Christ and call themselves sinners. Is this correct?

Previous post:

Next post: