Does my Christianity make my butt look too big?

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

– Revelation 3:16

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In my testimony, I wrote:

“What’s your religion, son?” The guy at one of the tables asked.

“I don’t know, I’m not much of a church person.”

“I need it for your dog tags, if you get shot; we need to know who to call.”

“Um?”

“Come on, I don’t have all day.”

“Catholic, I guess.”

“R-o-m-a-n C-a-t-h-o-l-i-c.” He said as he typed.

“Next!”

“Catholic, I guess.”

“Catholic, I guess.”

“Catholic, I guess.”

I have been thinking about that brief non-declaration of faith a bit the last few days because of how often I have heard the equally empty and meaningless; “I identify as a Christian…” lately.

Think about that for a minute and guess what word is fully implied yet missing?

Now read it again the way it’s meant to be understood.

“I identify as a Christian but…

Makes more sense with a disclaimer like the one I would have used in my testimony if I had more time to speak to the short tempered sergeant with the typewriter, doesn’t it?

“Catholic, I guess but only because that’s the church my parents made me go to when I was a kid”

And that’s exactly what too many people I talk to do when I ask them about their faith.

“I identify as a Christian but I don’t go to church.”

“I identify as a Christian but I’m really not that into it, it’s more of a cultural thing.”

“I identify as a Christian but only because we celebrate Christmas and Easter.”

“I identify as a Christian but I don’t really believe all of what the Bible says.”

“I identify as a Christian but I have serious doubts. ”

“I identify as a Christian but only because I think Jesus was a good moral philosopher.”

“I identify as a Christian but I don’t share many of their beliefs.”

“I identify as a Christian but only by default. I’m not Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or anything so Christianity kind of fits.”

“I identify as a Christian but I’m not judgmental. ”

That was only a partial list of the infinite number of caveats people can add to “I identify as a Christian…” but the point here is that there ALWAYS is one that is either stated outright or implied.

What I would like to hear more people say when I ask them about their faith is a positive and unwavering declaration that they are committed followers of Christ who have admitted they are sinners and have asked Christ for forgiveness. Anything less than that leaves too much room for doubt and is born of weakness and/or fear as were Peter’s doubts in all four Gospel accounts: Matthew 26:69–74, Mark 14:66–72, Luke 22:55–62, and John 18:15–18, 25–27.

The difference between Peter and the people I talk to howeve, is that there is a good chance they will take “I identify as a Christian but…” to the grave with them and God won’t be impressed.



Categories: Christianity, Marriage

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Great post. In the West, claiming you’re a Christian is next to meaningless now. I always identify myself as a follower of Christ. However, in the east, claiming you’re a Christian might earn you a prison sentence or even a death sentence.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadly that is true. Many people say they are Christians, but aren’t. Because it was how they were raised or whatever.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Through many years in women’s ministry I have found that many identify as being a “christian” simply because they believe in God. And many of those didn’t understand who Jesus was and didn’t feel the need to believe in his work. Many also believe all being a “christian” entails is doing good and helping others, even without having a belief in God. This, to me, just reinforced the need for ministry leaders to have one-on-one or small group setting gatherings to show/teach the real Truth of of Christianity in a non-threatening way, and to show by example, the beautiful change and healing it brings to our actions and lives. Blogs like yours are so important to reach, teach and love, especially to those we normally would not have the opportunity to reach. Great gobs of blessings to you!

    Like

    • I agree with you completely because I have interacted with the same exact kind of people since I started ministry.

      I also agree with your belief that small groups are important because that is where disciple making happens.

      To me, this says that churches, especially people in ministry, have really dropped the ball over the last few years and need to pick it up before the ” I’m a Christian but…” mentality replaces saving faith. I know my sphere of influence is relatively small but it has prompted me to be better.

      Thanks for the comments on the blog. I am encouraged by hearing you say you believe blogs like mine are important:)

      Liked by 1 person

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