We are all influential, even the non-influential. We influence others, others influence us. That why, “Bad company corrupts good character” and good company edifies.
We do not influence equally. Mom and dad affect more than friends and neighbors. Pastor Whoever is the focal point of the congregation.
As we know a tree by its fruit, we know parents by their offspring. The five children of Billy and Ruth Graham today spend much of their lives preaching the truths of God and dispensing mercy.
Societies produce after themselves. That’s why French children speak french and English english. Terrorists are fruitage.
Wise parents insist on knowing a school’s record before enrolling Johnny. They check out a neighborhood before purchasing a house. They are selective with their friendships. They understand influence.
Religions influence heavily. Every religion can be evaluated by its adherents, the influenced being unintentional ambassadors.
To a degree, you are who you are because of words heard and models within your sphere. Evangelicals are products of evangelicalism…. and its ambassadors. To determine if evangelicalism gets a nine out of ten or a mere two, study Typical Evangelical.
Can you see that if you had attended the church down the street, be it evangelical or otherwise, you would think and do differently? If so, you understand influence.
For the religionist, there is always a door out. We live in a free country. To leave is painful; to stay is tragic. Some remain with hopes of changing the way it is. But that is folly. The way it is has been that way for a long time and is impervious to meaningful change.
If you are not a disciple of Christ, you are a disciple of another. There is hope for the unsatisfied errant; the future is bleak for the content. Only the one who dares to prayerfully introspect will realize his real master.
Few christians are long-term disciples of Christ. You can be. Acknowledge your folly and tell Him your intentions. He will embrace you.