By Darren Smith
Is there any such thing as a casual Christian? I have heard this term a lot in recent times, and to tell you the truth it makes me sick. But as I have thought about this subject and spent time looking around at the body as a whole, I venture to say for the most part it is true of the church today. Before you get angry and stop reading, please hear me out.
How many believers do you know that are really sold out for Christ?...I mean those that Christ is the central focus of their life...a person that has died to self and relies totally on Christ for his substance...one who is willing to sacrifice even to the point of their well being to serve the Lord.
For a long time we have heard sermon after sermon on giving 10% to the church, and yet according to current research, only 30% of the people give 10%. This is sad, but considering that most of that doesn't go to do the work of the ministry its not surprising. I'm not trying to teach on the tithe system, I'm using this as an example of the casual attitude of believers. But I want to take it much deeper than this and ask some very hard questions.
How much of your time do you give to the Lord? Do you spend more time on you than on the Lord? More time on entertainment or hobby's than you do in service to the Lord? Many times people tell us: "We would love to come and help you guys in the street but we are just so busy we simply can not find the time." I wonder if they ever stop to think that we have to sacrifice and make time ourselves. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, the Lord blesses us and I wouldn't be anywhere else, but it requires sacrifice for us to be here as well. I just want you to see that if you are willing to serve, God will bless you. We have people all the time say: "I have never seen God's power and grace like this in my life." Many of these people have been in church all their life and have never ministered to anyone.
Another response we get is: "I'm not called to do that type of ministry." Oh really? I believe we are all called to take the Gospel to the world, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to take care of the widows and orphans. To make excuses and put off these things places you in the casual realm. Many will go to church once a week and then go right out and serve themselves all week without doing anything for the Lord. Trust me, "I didn't have time" will not help them in that day when they stand before the Lord. What makes this so sad is that many of them will never hear a message on repentance and total commitment to the Lord because this type of message is not popular in the modern church. It doesn't fill the offering plate or the seats. Instead we hear funny stories and jokes from the pulpit along with humanistic teachings on self-help and prosperity. This system has created the casual Christian which is no Christian at all. So many have been converted to a false religion of self seeking and greed. What is worse, they think they are fine because everyone they know is a casual Christian as well. When they come in contact with a sold out believer, it makes them very uncomfortable. When they hear a repentance message they label it extreme and harsh. These same casual Christians see the world going to hell around them, yet they are not affected by it at all. The thought of sacrifice is foreign to them. Material wealth is equated with blessings from the Lord. After all, many pulpits teach this for self enrichment, so in their mind it's ok.
The reason I write this is for an awakening. We all must look into our heart and see if we are sold out to the Lord. We all have areas we can improve and should! We must get this type of word out and the body must mobilize for the battle. We all will have to sacrifice. We were not put here to live our best life now, our best life is yet to come when the Lord returns. I know this is very convicting, but it must be said. We must repent and give our whole life to the Lord, and that means everything, all of us, everything we are and all we could ever become. We must give it all to the Lord.
So I ask you again, is there any such thing as a casual Christian or maybe more important, are you a casual Christian?
Darren Smith is the pastor of Streetscape Ministries.
Click here to go to Streetscape Ministries website