A study conducted some time ago revealed that 66% of Americans are “Casual Christians”. That means their faith, such as is, gives them religious feelings without it making any demands on them or being a priority in their life.
A Casual Christian can be what they prize: nice, religious, an honorable citizen, a dependable employee, a good family person – yet never lose sleep over private behavioral choices or take a stand against social evil. They sleep well because they mean well. They feel no need to invest themselves particularly into their faith. This approach to life offers comfort, a community of like-minded friendships if they want them and gives them a sense of being a faith-friendly person, connecting with a deity.
Success is determined by getting all of life into a perfect balance enabling them to grab all the gusto possible without undermining their perceived relationship with God and other people.
One who is captivated by Christ, on the other hand, is focused on upholding the absolute moral and spiritual truths they see in the Bible. Faith defines the life of the Captive Christian. Their core spiritual beliefs and resultant values are what define their worldview. They enjoy the comforts and enjoyments of life while focusing on their deeper desire to please God, family and other people.
Obedience to God is the heart’s desire of the Captive Christian but since they are human they frequently fail. Therefore success is defined as dependence on the grace of God for the power to obey throughout life.
Casuals are about moderation in all things while Captives are about extreme devotion to their God regardless of the earthly consequences.
Let us invite God’s Spirit to search our hearts and determine if we uphold Biblical truth, if our worldviews are built around core spiritual beliefs and resultant values, if we define a successful life as one that depends upon the empowering grace of God to obey him, or just a comfortable one that allows us to wear a label without having to pay for it.
I am indebted to my friend Galen Dalrymple for his thoughts which generated mine for this blog.