In this current election season, I’ve been hearing references to “low-information” voters. Apparently these are voters who pay little attention to the issues and just vote based on what little information they’ve heard from friends or from TV commercials.

When I heard the phrase it prompted me to think about what I’m going to call “low-information Christians.”  I’m not necessarily using the phrase derogatorily.  There are many reasons why a person may be a low-information Christian. And in some respects, we’re ALL low-information Christians.  We never truly fathom all the riches we have in Christ. That’s what’s so magnificent about the Christian life–there’s always more to discover.  So it’s not wrong to be a low-information Christian, but I do believe it’s wrong to stay a low-information Christian.  We must grow or we become stagnant and die.

In this two-part post, the second half of which will appear tomorrow, I’ve identified ten indications that you (or I) might be a low-information Christian. Let’s ask ourselves if any of these apply to us.

1. We’ve forgotten or neglected the fear of the Lord, which is “beginning of wisdom.” Low-information Christians are often clueless about the fear of the Lord. “That’s Old Testament!” they may object. But high-information Christians know that the fear of God is the fear that dispels all other fears. The fear of God is good; not something to be avoided. Psalms 19:9 tells us “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.” We never outgrow the fear of the Lord.

 2. We’ve minimized the danger of ongoing sin in our lives. Because some of our sins are comfortable to us and some have even become socially acceptable, we become lax about sin. We forget that sin is poison to our spirit. We no longer “reckon” ourselves dead to sin as Paul urges in Romans 6. We forget that if we continue to ingest the sweet poison of sin, we become sick. We suffer needless pain. We also open ourselves to deception. Make no mistake about it: sin is a great deceiver.

 3. We don’t rightfully discern the times. Much has been made in recent decades about the return of Christ. Will it be in our life time? I don’t know the answer. I used to think so, but now I realize that every generation needs to be prepared for that day. The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 is as relevant to us today as it was when Jesus spoke it. Readiness for whatever happens is the mark of a high-information Christian. We need to be discerning the times in which we live and order our lives accordingly. For example, during the present day, we see Christians in other lands being killed for their faith. Will it happen here? Indications are that the small amount of persecution we suffer in this country may increase as other philosophies (including militant atheism) take hold. Are we ready for that experience, should it come?

Failure to discern the times is another invitation to deception. In times like these false doctrines swirl like autumn leaves and those with “itching ears” are all too ready to jump into the whirlwind. High-information Christians understand the times. They discern when deception is taking place and refute it with the truth.

 4. We’ve become entangled with legalism. Legalism is trying to be acceptable to God based on our good deeds or religious actions. But legalism is the enemy of the grace of God. We may feel satisfied by our good works, but unless those good works are motivated by the Holy Spirit within us and done through faith and love, they count for nothing. (See 1 Corinthians 13). A good healthy dose of understanding the grace of God will cure legalism. But be aware that the purpose of grace is not that we may continue in sin, but as we read in Titus 2:12…

[Grace] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…

If our understanding of grace isn’t teaching us to say no to ungodliness, then we’re missing the whole point of grace. As I’m working on a book proposal for The Magnificent Christian Life, I’m calling one chapter “Magnificent Grace,” but more and more I’m realizing that title may be worthy of a book itself. The grace of God is truly magnificent!

 5. We are in love with this world. God tells us plainly that to be in love with this world is to be at enmity with Him. That’s a hard saying, isn’t it? But if we’ve pursued the world and been burnt by the experience, we understand the fleeting nature of this life. We then set our affections above. Again, this is an area that can lead to deception. I wonder how many low-information Christians are enamored of the world’s fads to the extent that they watch movies or TV shows (or read books) with heavily occult themes. It’s unwise in the extreme to buy into evil themes in our entertainment. What we put into our mind will affect the way we think—and act. I cringe when I see young kids or teens experimenting with occultism, knowing its power to destroy.

Tomorrow I’ll post the remaining five indications that you or I could be a low-information Christian.

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