Easy religion.

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I’m often concerned that people expect a sort of Christianity-LITE when they come to churches like ours…  After all we are lite on tradition, lite on dress code, and we don’t pressure anyone into doing stuff.  So it’s common for churches like ours to attract people looking for low easy commitment Christianity.  And we are lite on those things – and I will never pressure you or put you on the spot about anything…  But at the same time we are absolutely hard core when it comes to following Jesus and understanding his word correctly.  

Sometimes people think the problem with traditional religion is that it takes God too seriously – they just need to lighten up.  I think the other way – the problem is that they never took God and Jesus seriously enough!  Religious-types are usually not die-hard about things like forgiveness… or loving enemies, and loving neighbors.  They gloss over mercy, and give lip service to their own sin while condemning sin in others.  That’s not taking God too seriously – that’s going LITE on Bible, and heavy on self (works based)  righteousness… The exact opposite of what Jesus taught.

So instead of looking for a version of Christianity that goes “lite” on things that are obviously wrong – how about getting serious about the real Jesus instead?

  • So on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how serious are you about being a Jesus follower?  Regardless of how successful your efforts are – on that scale, how would you rate your effort?
  • Secondly, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate how kind, and open, and easy going, and forgiving, and compassionate you are toward other people? Instead of comparing yourself with other people, for this one compare yourself with past performance, how kind are you NOW compared to you in the past?
  • And third, on a scale of 1 to 10, how fearless are you?  1 means you worry about everything and are sometimes paralyzed with fear and insecurity.  10 means you never let fear of earthly things shape how you live…

I really expect the typical CityFellowship member to be “10” on all three of these because we follow a God who demands nothing less.  And why would you want anything less?

Related posts:

  1. Getting Beyond Folk Religion
  2. The Rickster…
  3. Science and Religion
  4. Misery as a religion…
  5. Why I bring up motorcycles…
  6. Defending Religion…
  7. Our perfect plan for creating a different kind of church…

3 thoughts on “Easy religion.

  1. Hi Leo,

    I appreciate your post and understand your POV. However, I feel like most churches don’t teach us how to follow Jesus in a hard-core manner practically. Take your example: “Religious-types are usually not die-hard about things like forgiveness… or loving enemies, and loving neighbors. They gloss over mercy, and give lip service to their own sin while condemning sin in others.” Perhaps, this is a personal struggle that people know is wrong but don’t know how to break out of that sinful habit..esp. since we’re constantly dueling between our sinful and sanctified nature and people don’t know how to go about handling certain situations just like when Paul said “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

    I’ve been reading “The Emotionally Healthy Church” lately and I find this book to be very helpful to locating the root of why we behave a certain way that is so contradicting to our sanctified nature. Have you read this book, what do you think of it and what are some of your intakes on how we can follow Jesus in more of a hard-core manner practically?

  2. Hey Keri,

    Yeah I’ve heard of that book 🙂 Actually I was around with Pastor Pete when he wrote it, but it’s been a while… For me, it showed me that “holiness” is a whole life thing, and needs to be explained and brought to life – and emotional health, self-differentiated love, is a part of that…

    Anyway, so with the first “1 to 10” question, if a church really wasn’t teaching that people ought to be 10’s, then I’d say there’s a problem. Full commitment ought to be the norm… Even in Med school, in Music school, in B-school, Culinary school, Art school – it’s the norm to be totally committed to excelling in your field – the norm for a church ought to be total commitment to following Jesus.

    Sometimes a class lesson actually helps you get better at the thing – but often times they don’t… Nevertheless, just being in the environment where everyone is trying to excel in the same thing helps a person get closer to the goal… So the BEST schools often don’t have the best teachers – but they’re good because they get the best students…

    So if you are fully committed to following Jesus in the real world, being a loving, healing, repenting, and sometimes prophetic presence while living in the same world as everyone else… and your church is committed to that too – you and the church ought normally to grow together.

    If the church wasn’t committed to radically following Jesus – or even if that’s how you feel about it (even if you’re wrong), then that church might not be right for you – maybe it doesn’t speak your (social cultural) language well enough for you to thrive in… Get one that does speak your language. Or learn to speak their language – but don’t leave it alone.

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