Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is a Casual Faith a Saving Faith?

A casual faith is one that does not require inconvenient commitment. It does not give more than is convenient. It does not serve any more than convenient. It does not attend unless there is nothing better to do. It violates God's laws if it is convenient.

A casual faith says, "I want to go to heaven. If I have to be baptized and say I believe in Jesus, then, so be it, but don't expect much else."

I don't believe that Christians are perfect. We are far from it. We have a lower nature that calls us back to sin. Yet, I believe our faith must be more than casual for a trip to heaven.

Jesus said that those who endure to the end will be saved. There is a persistence in the faith Jesus speaks of. If faith is merely an act of convenience there is no necessity of endurance.

Endurance is not perfection. It does not mean that we will never sin or even that some of those sins might be especially egregious. Surely, Christians have committed every sin that non-Christians have committed. They will still go to heaven if their faith is real.

How will a Christian know for themselves if their faith is real? The Spirit dwells within them. The Spirit continually calls them home. The Spirit brings them under conviction. Those with a casual faith do not have any motivation to act like they do except in how others look at them. They will forget Christ and His Church for anything they can justify to others.

Parents with a true faith will allow their children to attend something that will keep their children away from church. There may be a school trip or a family gathering that will keep their children out. Casual faith parents will keep their children out for months for an ongoing event that has nothing to do with Christ. I heard a comedian last week say that he hated the Olympics because it made parents ruin their children's childhood for an event that was held every four years. I thought about those parents who were putting their children in things that kept them away from church when their faith should have been developing. Are these children's childhoods ruined too?

I know that it is controversial to say that a salvation experience must include a Lordship decision but this is truly what I believe. If I can't say that I believe in health and eat at McDonald's every day why should I be able to say I believe in Jesus but never do what He said?

I know that truly believing Christians struggle with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He is either Lord or He isn't. That is why He told us to take up our cross daily. Yesterday's commitment will not keep Him Lord. You don't lose your salvation but you lose some of its joy.

Salvation comes when we trust in Christ as our Savior and Lord. That takes a commitment. We can slide away from that commitment and still be saved. We will never be saved if we have never made the commitment. We will never be saved by saying we are when there is no commitment in us.

This is not a condemnation of those who are casual Christians. This is a call to all committed Christians to act with commitment. Show the world there is a difference between those who call themselves Christians and those who are committed to Christ. This is a call to pray for those who are casual. They do not need our condemnation. They need our love. People are most always loved into God's Kingdom.

Say this if you believe it, "Jesus is my Lord today. I will do whatever He says whether or not it is convenient." Tomorrow you will have to say and mean the same thing.

No comments: