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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Christianity Lite

Great entertainment deserves a great crowd. I get it. I think that people are enamored with someone who can tell a good joke and keep your attention for twenty minutes by telling amusing, even hilarious, stories. Why would someone purposely attend a boring speech if it wasn't for a grade or advanced them in any way?

However, I have found that what bores one person is absolutely exciting to another. Why is that so?

The person who is excited at what another would call a boring speech can see the way that speech helps him. He follows what is being said because it takes him to a place he wants to go. That place may be called laughter or new ideas or new methods of doing what he is doing.

Is this always good? No, is the obvious answer. Many people may not know where they want to go. Thus, they look for mere entertainment which satisfies the distraction from their problems. Or maybe they look for a superficial solution which is so easy that it requires little on no effort on their part. (Like the info commercials which sell pills to make people thinner. People will watch these for thirty minutes at a time without any sense of boredom. Unfortunately, these pills only make the wallet thinner.) The church is not immune to enticing people in this.

The message of many churches today is found in the world. These churches know that the world wants to be richer. Therefore, their messages tell how God wants the people to be richer. The world wants to have complete safety. The messages of these churches tell how God wants them to be completely safe. The world wants to win at everything. Thus, the messages tell how God will make you a winner in the world.

The Christians who come out of these churches have a very weak faith. They see God as someone who gives them what they already want. He doesn't need to change them. They simply need to change their thinking so that they can get Him to do what they want. These church attendees do not have a depth of knowledge of the Bible nor Jesus because they have avoided any scripture and any relationship that did not fit into their own wants.

I call this Christianity Lite. It is less filling and has a better worldly taste. It promises all the good times and none of the bad. It hinges on the stated faith of the one following the "Lite" Christianity. Things that don't work out like the attendee wants are caused by a lack of faith. The statement may be said, "I just have to believe it without any doubting and God will do what I want." It doesn't matter what God's will is. It doesn't matter that God may be able to do more in the difficult situation than in all good times. It doesn't matter what God thinks about any of this.

Thus, this "Lite" Christian can still act like any worldly person and call himself a Christian. He is jealous of those who have more than he does. He hates like the world hates. He acts like the world acts outside of the church. He has taken the world and put a thin Christian coating over it all.

It is just as possible that someone would listen to something which appears boring and get the very most out of it. The church which expounds depth from the Bible may be boring to the majority but is extremely interesting to him. It, too, takes him where he wants to go. It brings him into an intimate relationship with Jesus. His life is changed daily because of this relationship. He seeks God's will rather than his own will because he believes that God knows and does what will be seen as glorious. He prays but addresses God as the One who knows what should happen. His faith is not built on what he wants to happen but on God's revelation to Him. He submits to the will of God and finds joy in his Christian growth. He may find himself in the minority even at church. He proves his faith in what he has done as he has walked with God.

Which one do you want to be? Or maybe I should ask, which one are you?

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (ESV)
1  But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3  for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?  

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

This is one of your more "wordy" ones ( lots of words), but I like this one. Not boring at all, at least to me. And the 1st 2 paras., especially, strike a cord with me, for I have been thinking the same, lately.

If I may add, I am also thinking this, "Yah, so and so, no doubt are charismatic in their speeches, and they would make great motivation speakers, but preaching the Word is NOT mere speaking as a motivation speaker.

I have just heard a hyper-grace leader preached, "In all things, God works them for the good of those who believe God loves them". Now, that sure would go down well for Lite Christians, to borrow your lingo (By the way, that is an amusing title, and a good one, I must say). On this speaker, that's not what the verse of Rom 8:28 is saying; it said, "....... for the good of those who love God, called according to His purpose".

Yah, the Lite version, people like that, because lite version of things is free; the people is NOT required to fork out anything.

To love God, you got to fork out something, in fact, much thing. To love is a choice, and then a commitment, and so, it demands faithfulness for the one who loves, and Scripture has it that we cannot just love in words, we are to love in deeds. See, the speaker did want to say that, that we have to love; he has NOT done justice to the verse, so to speak. Instead, he turned the table on God, "God loves you", and so, He got to be faithful and He got to, in deeds, love you! In other words, he was saying, when you believe God loves you, you got Him cornered!

Lite Christians don't want to fork out anything, not their time, their money or resource; they don't want any inconvenience. For the time they spend on listening to a preacher or attending a church, they want their time's worth. They want to come off, the sermons or services, feeling good, entertained or amused even, like after attending a concert or a movie, otherwise, to them you have wasted their time, and they would not like to return for more. So, when a preacher or church sings their tune, of it is all God's part, they flock to that preacher or church. Such preacher or church only dishes out the lite version of the faith; only milk, no meat.

If you (not referring to you, Ps Prentis) are a servant of God, don't do lite version, you got to do the full version; don't short-change the sheep. They maybe dumb (the hyper-grace leader I referred to, above, also did say sheep are quite dumb), but The Lord, their ultimate Shepherd is NOT - be warned.

One other thing, if we can, warn the sheep, of such.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions