So whether it is Christian bookstore customers stealing Bibles, or switching the price tags (which, as the sign noted, is also stealing), or whether it is youth from Christian homes and schools being pressured into making commitments about sexuality, there is no substitute for the new birth and an ongoing commitment to doing the will of God. There are no shortcuts to holiness. It is not a matter of the right kind of education or peer group. Rather internal reformation and revival that is renewed on a daily basis before the Lord is necessary. Without this kind of personal commitment Christians will dishonor the name of Christ and they will fail to keep their resolutions just like everyone else.
The same is true with regard to wealth and spending. It would be interesting to see a study of Christian spending habits. I suspect it would reveal that generally speaking Christians do not spend their money any differently than non-Christians. Is this because the Bible says nothing about money and material possessions? No, far from it! A cursory reading of the Bible reveals that the Bible has much to say about money and material possessions beyond the simple fact that at some level they are blessings from God. The problem is that Christian teachings are not properly systematized and applied to life, including spending. Or the assumption is made that the consumer culture in which we live is somehow consistent with biblical teaching -- a highly dubious conviction unless severely nuanced by the totality of biblical revelation.
Following Christ is far more radical than many people realize and even those of us who call ourselves Christians have a long way to go when it comes to living simple, quiet lives that are energized by the power of the Spirit and shaped by kingdom perspectives and priorities. This year let us strive to be Christians in truth, and not in name only. In many ways the world has not seen what God can do through people who are completely sold out to him. This cannot be done in our own strength, it is only possible through the power of the Spirit who has been poured out by the Lord in this gospel age in which we live. Only then will electronic surveillance be unnecessary, and only then will people of all ages fulfill their commitments and pledges.