Teen Mania Ministries founder and author of new book Resilient, Ron Luce, said the reason why so many people's faith falls apart after a crisis is because they aren't passionate followers of Christ.
Luce likened passionate Christians to fans of a beloved band in a recent interview with The Christian Post. "Someone might ask how do you follow Him? I don't see Him. How do you follow a band you never met personally? Well you know their songs, you google them, if you're a stalker you find out about their family, how they wrote songs? How they started as a band. Well what if we google Jesus? What if we stalked Jesus? What if we knew more of Jesus' lyrics than our favorite band's lyrics?"
The problem with most Christians, Luce said, is they are merely posing as passionate Jesus followers.
He described, "If someone comes up and says, 'oh, that's my favorite band,' and your talking (and you say), 'oh what do you think about this song,' and (they say), 'Oh I don't really know that song,' and that's their most famous song, you'd tell them you're not a follower; you're a poser, you're a pretender and I'm afraid we have too many people like that in church."
Luce explains in Resilient that these posers are complacent, passive Christians who have not "discovered" Jesus' love. Instead they serve Him out of obligation or with the thought that God will make everything in their lives wonderful. When things get tough and crises happen, Luce writes, complacent Christians "will quietly reason, 'That's not in my contract. That's not what I signed up for.'"
Talking with CP, Luce challenged complacent Christians, "If we're followers, then lets follow. Let's follow Jesus. What if we knew what Jesus had to say about any topic any friend could ever bring up at our job? That's what followers do. We follow and we don't apologize for it and we don't ask for fame because of it. We follow because we've found somebody worth following with every part of our being. When you do that, that provokes passion in you because you've said good bye, you've surrendered everything else because you've found the one who's worth you're all."
Luce's own faith was challenged in 2012 when his daughter was severely burned in a plane crash that killed four others.
"We get to the hospital finally and Hannah's hooked up to a million tubes in ICU and we're thankful she's alive. Her lungs have been burned (and) they don't know if she's going to continue being able to live through this, but we know that four passed away and we're happy and we're sad at the same time – happy and mad, man, that these guys are gone, you know. It didn't agree with my theology – Psalm 91 protection not just for our kid but for anything we're touching. So it's out of that kind of conundrum that this book kind of sprang forth and its all about how do you handle life, how do you handle situations when things are thrown at you that you don't agree with, that you don't like, that aren't fun, that frankly you don't even believe that God would allow that to happen," he told CP.
Luce said that around 3,500 Christians walk away from their faith every day.
The key to a resilient faith that allows Christians to bounces back during adversity is their foundational beliefs.
He explained, "One of the foundation stones to build resilient faith … it really goes to what is the premise of our faith, what is it that we first came to Christ on? What did we fundamentally believe? If we believed that everything was going to be wonderful from that point on and then something's not wonderful, forget it. That's no in my contract; I'm not going on with this thing."
Christians need to go deeper in their faith than just being a Christ follower in good times only. Luce noted, "The fact is as followers of Christ, it doesn't mean that we'll never have another challenge. It means that we'll have someone to walk with us through the challenge."
Resilient is currently available in bookstores. The book also comes with a built-in, eight-week study guide.