Myocardial infarction is the technical name for a heart attack. It takes place when tissue in the heart muscle dies. According to the US Center for Disease Control, approximately 790,000 cases of MI happen annually in the United States. My best guess, based on the literature I could find, indicates over 300,000 deaths occur due to heart attacks each year. The CDC reports over 600,000 people die from some type (heart attacks are included) of heart disease. All of this indicates checking on heart health and maintaining good heart health is vital.
This past Sunday, Chuck Wysong gave us a spiritual heart checkup. This was no “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” checkup. It was the state of medical art soil test of Jesus Christ. It has an application on so many levels and can be universally used to establish the baseline level of spiritual heart health. Too often, this test is applied to people not in the community of Christ-followers. The implication is those whose “soil” is good become believers who grow and thrive in life and those whose soil is compromised or hard, never come to faith thereby falling away or never taking root. Chuck does us a great service by turning this diagnostic tool on us churchgoers. Rocky soil, shallow soil, weed-infested soil, or good soil; what is the condition of your heart? The peace and contentment condition of your life, the health condition of your relationships, the reproductive condition of your church, can all be traced back to the condition of your heart via the soil test.
I wonder if the post-modern age flourished because American Christian Churches and their membership failed the soil test starting in the early 1900’s and continued failing through the 1960’s resulting in several new generations of “truth is relative or optional” thinkers and believers. Of course, such sociological shifts are complex and not the result of one “thing” but the idea that the “salt” lost its “flavor” is compelling in my mind.
I have been told that Millennials are not concerned if my Christianity is the truth they are concerned if my Christianity or faith is real. I am convinced if my heart condition is that of good soil, then the truth of Jesus Christ will flourish and how it impacts those around me will be real. And a church of real people can change the world. And a church of those whose heart is diseased will suffer an MI and likely die or certainly have a diminished impact. What is your heart condition?