Arkansas Baptist News
A scene from the movie “Wild Hogs” is helpful in illustrating where Christianity is today in America.
In a defining scene in the movie – which is about urban men seeking to escape their mundane lives by riding cross-country on Harley-Davidson motorcycles – the villain of the movie calls the men out as “posers” and not real bikers.
It happens when the men stop at a roadside bar where they meet the Del Fuego biker gang, headed by the tough biker Jack. Jack calls the Wild Hogs “posers” and steals one of their motorcycles to rub it in.
By the end of the movie, the urban biker adventurers realize they really want no part of being a biker gang, because, in their opinion, biker gangs are thugs, thieves, drunkards and generally wayward souls who haven’t
grown into real men. The gang members were in all actuality the real posers, refusing to accept the real responsibilities of life.
We live in a world today full of posers, and no poser is more damaging than the one who pretends to be Christian.
Recently, the Pew Research Center released a study of the U.S. Religious Landscape that shows that – while Americans who self-identify as Christians has dropped from 78 to 71 percent – the number of “born again” evangelicals has actually grown slightly from 34 percent to 35 percent.
Being a Christian can mean many things to many people. But generally, when one identifies himself or herself as a born-again Christian evangelical, it narrows it down to someone who believes in and is committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.
While mainline denominations continue to lose members (5 million members since the last survey), evangelical churches have gained 2 million members.
How a person identifies himself or herself is really of little consequence to God; rather, it is the lifestyle he lives. God wants total commitment to His cause and not posers:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matt. 7:22-23, NIV).
What this means is posers won’t inherit the kingdom of God, but rather those who repent of their sins and commit to follow Jesus Christ every day of their lives.
Tim Yarbrough is editor/executive director of the Arkansas Baptist News.