“This book is about becoming spiritually healthy by identifying and combating soul sickness that threatens to weaken our faith and inhibit it from producing the appropriate actions in our lives.” (16) Hypocrisy threatens the livelihood of our faith. Healthy Christians face hypocrisy straight on.
Moore knows about hypocrisy. He grew up in a church where everyone faked living the wonderful Christian life. The phoney smile of his parents hid a marriage heading for disaster. The phoney smiles of their pastor to whom they went for help hid his affair. Moore's world fell apart with the divorce and his father's attempted suicide (in his presence).
Moore knows hypocrisy hurts yourself and others. Moore asks his readers to go with him on his journey to authentic faith. He takes you through his doubting God, then visiting Bosnia and Rwanda, seeing the reality of evil, and then knowing there must be a real God.
He outlines five steps to becoming serious about your spirituality: pray, read the bible, think, write, do. But it is the “doing” that is the problem. “Do what God tells you to do. It's not enough to just believe. … And it's a matter of life or death. All the spiritual passion and activity we can muster will be totally useless if we never decide to submit to that truth and actually practice it in our daily lives.” (95) The challenge is the battle of your will. We must daily submit our will to His.
Part of our trouble: “we care too much about what the Bible says and not enough about what it means.” (103) Churches need to let go of things not essential to salvation. The devil wants to keep your mind off eternal things. “We need to transform our thinking. Every moment of every day is an opportunity for us to know God better and show His love to the world.” (107)
Why does God allow our lives to be hard? Perhaps it is for us to learn the lessons we can learn only by persevering in hardship.
Today, being a Christian is easy, provided it is just an internal and selfish faith. Moore encourages his readers to start living what they say they believe, and see God at work. He gives several inspiring examples of people doing exactly that.
“Our soul is begging us to turn away from what we think is important and focus on what really is important. The remedy for our dissatisfaction is paying attention to our soul and to God's desire for our lives, and to live for the glory of God and the good of man.” (195)
Moore has written this book “to help you crawl out of the mire of Christian culture, to discover real faith, and begin to see your world through fresh eyes.” (198) He wants you to have a living, breathing, experimental faith.
Visit www.johnniemoore.org for videos and other resources to help you on your spiritual journey.
Johnnie Moore is a vice president of Liberty University, where he also serves as the campus pastor and a professor of religion.
Harvest House Publishers, 203 pages.