If given the choice between the quick and easy way or the more challenging, of course most people would chose the former. Our society has programmed us to look for the easiest way to do things instead of the best. The unfortunate truth is that most quick and easy fixes do not work or will not last. This is especially so when dealing with matters of faith and practice.
Comfortable Christianity seeks to do only enough to appear righteous but avoids at all cost anything which would demand commitment or sacrifice. Comfortable Christianity wants only to show up at a building one time per week to sing some songs, listen to a sermon and give a few bucks. This, to the vast majority of Christians defines their faith. However superficial this brand of religion is, it represents the least amount of work for people, and that is what most people want.
'Little Johnny has soccer practice' and 'little Mary has cheerleading tryouts' are classic lines used by lukewarm comfortable Christians to avoid doing anything constructive in their church. 'I have an important business meeting (on the golf course)' and 'I am just too tired (from the night out on the town)' are famous excuses for not being able to attend church services or other functions.
I can assure you that God would have much more patience and understanding if people just told the truth rather than always seeking to find good sounding excuses to defend their lack of faithfulness. The honest truth is that most people just do not want to do anything more than the absolute minimum required to, in their minds, 'get to heaven'. The attitude of 95% of all Christians is that of just doing enough to make it into heaven. God forbid they ever do anything more.
Anyone who has ever served as a minister knows that it is like pulling teeth to get people to even tithe. Can you imagine what it is like trying to persuade people to not just give 10% but to share of their abundance? This type of thinking is basically unheard of within the church. 99.999999% of all Christians look at EVERYTHING they make over the tithe as THEIRS.
Comfortable Christianity hoards all it can, gives as little as it can get away with and in a pinch would be just as ruthless as the world if big money were on the line. I am zeroing in on the financial end of things for that is the greatest way to differentiate between the true Christian faith and that which parades around claiming to be Christian, but in reality is nothing but a comfortable counterfeit.
See, comfortable Christianity is equal to carnal Christianity which is equal to NO Christianity. The true Christian faith is built upon and has at its very core GIVING. God so loved the world that He GAVE His only son. Jesus so loved us that He GAVE His life on our behalf. We are to so love one another that we are to GIVE ourselves in service to one another.
Perhaps we need to be reminded of the 1 John 3:16-18:
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Comfortable Christianity loves only in word and speech but not in action and in truth. Comfortable Christianity sees his brother in need and turns away expecting someone else to help. Comfortable Christianity is in serious need of a spiritual enema that would cause the bowels of compassion to move and love be manifested.
Of all the lies which have entered into comfortable Christianity, perhaps one of the biggest is the notion that the material wealth a believer accumulates is supposed to be for him to bless himself with worldly THINGS. Read your New Testament and you will find that if God blesses someone, it is so that they can in turn bless others. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 provide all the evidence needed to prove this is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Comfortable Christianity demands that no one makes demands of your money or time. Comfortable Christianity refuses to give any more than the bare minimum and wants to receive accolades for doing so. Comfortable Christianity mocks those who have little because they gave it all away, it despises those who live with little in order to share more with those in need and it absolutely shuns the notion that anything above the tithe belongs to the Lord.
I pray none of us ever fall into this atrocious comfortable religion. I pray we seek to stay honest, pure and willing to share and give of ALL the Lord graciously blesses us with. However UNCOMFORTABLE this makes us to think this way, it is the way of the true Christian faith and not its comfortable counterfeit.
[quote]Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 [/quote]
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we also surrender our pocketbooks and everything we have. Accountability for all He lends to us is to Him alone and no one else and He sees our hearts when we give -cheerfully or for show.
Another excellent and so very accurate blog!
Money is one of the things most mentioned in the Bible. Simple truth is, God doesn't NEED our money, just as Jesus didn't NEED the 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed the 5000 + women and children. A very interesting thing about that wonderful story is that when the loaves and fish were given back to God the Son, He not only provided for the multitudes, but there were 12 baskets of bread left over! Even without the excess, this story wast truly a reflection of how God provides to us in abundance. Our gifts are redeemed. What the 12 baskets show is tremendous return we get when we return to God a portion of what was His to begin with.
Dear B2Y--"I'd Rather Have Jesus" and Dallas Holm. What a great combination. Such a simple message by such a humble man. I choose to believe that money is mentioned so much in the Bible NOT because it is important to God, but because He knows it is important to us and can get our attention with it. Sad that something we cannot take with us stands in the way of the only thing we can--the salvation of Jesus Christ. Well written and well said, my brother, though it was sad to say. :( YBIChrist--Ron