What is "comfortable Christianity" and why does it need to be confronted? This term is one used to describe the watered down form of Christianity most people crave, for it demands nothing but to get "blessed". When a Christian spends most of time asking God to "bless me", then the whole reason for Christ's life and death is lost.
Whether we are talking about the "feel good Gospel" so prevalent among non-denominational churches or the "I'm ok you're ok" psycho-babble many mega churches are built on; the end result is the same-comfortable and powerless Christianity. When the power of God and the truth of what Jesus came to accomplish are removed from Christianity, then all that is left is the current version of the Pharisaical hypocrisy prevalent in Jesus' time.
Here is a newsflash that I pray we all never forget: Jesus Christ did not come to give His life so you can spend the rest of yours surrounded by toys, unconcerned about others' plight and devoted to enjoying the fruits of worldly bliss. This insane religion has a death grip on millions upon millions of Christians. For those caught in this trap of selfishness, Christianity is "all about ME".
Yes, Jesus did die for YOU and He gave His life so you could have eternal life through Him. But, He did all this so that each one of us would rise up to see the high and noble calling laid before us. He did all this so that we would come to recognize that Christianity is really "all about HIM" in one sense and "all about YOU" in another. There is no "me" in Christianity.
Christians really need to take a look at their faith to see if it is built on love and devotion to Christ or the mistaken notion that if one is "good enough" Christ will reward with earthly bliss. The purpose of salvation has absolutely nothing to do with earthly success. Salvation is totally related to God's desire to see sin paid for and eternal life granted.
Why are you here? What is the reason you draw breath? Is it just to work your job, play with your kids, make oodles of money to buy more and more playthings? Is it to indulge yourself with every earthly pleasure you can find and then "blame" God for blessing you with it?
There is no true freedom in Christ until one learns to give freely from what one has been given. Hoarding God's blessings will result in spiritual poverty. Unless we freely give as we have been freely given, we will slowly die spiritually and become unhappy, unfulfilled and unproductive. Is THAT what Jesus gave His life for?
Comfortable Christianity is the state where anything related to the Christian faith is simply a tool to feeling and looking good without any commitment or sacrifice. Comfortable Christianity is that condition most Christians drift into when their passion for the Lord turns into a stale and formal religion. Comfortable Christianity is the pathetic place Christians end up when they are not challenged mentally and spiritually.
God has laid it upon my heart to confront comfortable Christianity once again. This isn't the first time I have embarked on this journey, nor will it be the last. God has stirred my heart to write on this subject knowing that it makes many uncomfortable reading about it. Perhaps that is proof enough that this topic needs to be dealt with.
Jesus had a way of turning people's lives upside down. When he told the rich young ruler to sell all he had and follow him, he more or less ruined that man's life for he was very wealthy. When Jesus refused to judge and keep his distance from prostitutes and all sorts of shady characters, he forced the religious leaders to pull their hair out in self-righteous anger and pious disgust.
Comfortable Christianity looks at a need and assumes someone else will handle it or will condemn the person for having the need. Comfortable Christianity will spend days planning a service with all the songs in the right order and all the candles in the right position but spend no time concerned about the state of those attending the service. Comfortable Christianity looks at everything one has as God's gift to them to selfishly use to be "blessed". Comfortable Christianity is nothing more than an outward religion devoid of all truth and love.
Personally, I would rather be found having NOTHING materially in this life but have the satisfaction of knowing I gave it all for the Kingdom and for the Gospel of Christ, than to have no debts, live in a fine home with no mortgage and have bank accounts overflowing with money and selfishly consider it all to be MINE. Far too many Christians look at their comfortable religion and say "it is good" while God looks at it and just cries-for that is NOT why He gave His Son.
Wow. thank you for this reminder. This is only earth. This is not my home.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.
Again, Thanks for this.
How easy it is to forget that we are merely stewards to whom the Master has entrusted things. An important question to ask ourselves is, "What am I doing with what I have been entrusted with?" Even as He has blessed us, we must in turn bless others.
I was going to use this illustration in a blog, and I may still; even though I hate repeating myself.
A common practice in the church I went to was to provide the preacher or teacher with a glass of water on the podium. The few times I had the privilege of speaking, there was the glass of water. One of God's people put it there, so in that sense, God provided. It's purpose was so if my throat got dry I had that water to drink. Now if sometime during my teaching, if I stopped and drank, no one would be shocked or surprised. It would be the expected thing to do. But would that be good stewardship on my part? "Well, that's the purpose of the water.", one would say. But would it be good stewardship on my part? The answer is, "No, it would not."
No matter how dry my throat got, the kind of stewardship that God demands of me is that before I take one sip from that glass.....I first find someone else who is thirsty.
Great Blog B2Y....I so hope and pray that I keep my eyes on JESUS, and nothing in this world of pain and sorrows,and earthly things that will fade away. We must in this last day,help one another. AJ
Good blog B2Y. I am looking forward to getting to know more of your perspective on issues through this series. I agree with much of what you have said.
There are so many who call themselves Christians but yet have not truly repented and surrendered themselves to our one Lord, Jesus Christ. Religion is played by many instead of a true commitment to serving and following Jesus.
There are a good many non-denominational churches that have left the main stream churches because of the watering down of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I left a better than average main stream church because of a lack in their teachings and because of the need for a strong manifested presence of the Holy Spirit leading the congregation. Pastors who are truly being led by the Holy Spirit will not be as likely to allow the watering down of the truth of God''s Word.
I wish to stand up for the many excellent non-denominational churches that are diligently seeking to teach the truth of God's Word. People created denominations, God did not.
Yes, I fully agree that many denominational as well as non-denominational churches have this "feel good" attitude and lack commitment to the truth found in God's Word. Many churches seem more concerned about following mans' traditions than with following the truth found in Jesus Christ.
True blessings come when our focus is on HIM (Jesus) and not on ourselves. Instead of taking delight in our ways and the things of this world, we take delight in the Lord and His ways. This is the only way to have true joy in our life.
This is a great teaching that I hope many understand is not aimed at any church... but at ourselves. We are the first step in the chain of what "the church should be doing". We must first get out of our comfort zone, and be about the "controversial" work that is actually suppose to be the mainstay of our Christian Walk. Churches tend to settle into a pattern of what their congregations are happy with. Whether we are attending a "mega" church or a "non-denominational"... it is not the name on the church but the focus that we the congregation allow it to set. Is it set on pleasing us... or Christ? -And where is our focus?
Thank you, and God Bless!
Dear B2Y--2 Timothy 3:5 speaks of those ". . .having a form of godliness, but dening the power thereof: from such turn away." That denial can take two forms: 1) to deny that godliness has power of any sort, and 2) to deny that godliness should have power in the person's life. Either way, it is a sham godliness which lacks accountability and responsibility. Excellent blog, my friend. I look forward to the series. ;) In brotherly love and fellowship--Ron
Don't you guys just hate 'prosperity' teachings? "If you give us your bread money, you will receive 30, 60 and even 100 fold back! Just believe!"
Jas 2:5 Give ear, my dear brothers; are not those who are poor in the things of this world marked out by God to have faith as their wealth, and for their heritage the kingdom which he has said he will give to those who have love for him?
1Jn 2:15 Have no love for the world or for the things which are in the world. If any man has love for the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
I'd rather believe the full truth of the Word than prosperity teachings.
B2Y, great blog. I don`t re-call anything about 'comfort', in Christs' teachings.
And as for the 'prosperity' part, I am really getting tired of this guy asking for a $1,000 seed every day on the "Campmeeting" show. Greed shows in the eyes and in the mouth, and this guy has it. Sorry, great blog, Brother.
Another great blog!
When my wife and I selected the congregation we would join, one of the main reasons was the emphasis placed on God's Word, from "In the beginning God created..." all the way through to "Amen." Each Sunday and on many other occasions, I see many cheeks pucker (both upper and lower) as Pastor Michael delivers his message. No "comfort" as you've described it here and in this series. Whe we do not follow God's word, we bring DISgrace to His grace.
This is awesome.... we are all just passing through!!!
God has a kingdom waiting for us... where there will be no more stress, bills, sickness, starving, poor
we need to remember to follow Jesus everday through everything we do!
I cant wait to be up there with Christ!
Yes Salvation is a need reminder to these comfortable christians. I recently have been trying to find this answer that you provided, helped me relieve my disappointment with the selfish acts. "There is no true freedom in Christ until one learns to give freely from what one has been given." You produced this really well to all readers, i am glad that God has blessed you with His truths. God Bless.