Can a person be “Too Christian?” Is it possible?
Yes, I believe so. I have some signs that some who attend church regularly are too Christian and not enough Christ-like:
1. They don’t serve anyone in the church.
For some Christianity is only creeds with hardly any deeds. Galatians 6:10 (ESV) “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
In church they love to hold a microphone but never pick up a mop. They’ll lead a ladies bible study at the drop of a hat but hesitate to clean the children’s area. Ask them to sacrifice and give to enable the church to reach unbelievers and they scowl. Ask them to join a small group and they truly believe they don’t need one. All the while forgetting that Jesus started the Church with a small group of 12 and how often Jesus told us to STORE UP treasure in heaven where it cannot be stolen or spoiled.
For them, faith is about knowing more than actually doing.
The results are clear: According to recent surveys by the Pew Research Institute, about 90% of those who claim to be born again Christians live lives that are indistinguishable from their non-believing counterparts.
Remember, Jesus will one day separate the sheep from the goats by what they did for the least of those among us.
He said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you DO them.” John 13:17. He said at the end of the Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Can we really claim to follow Jesus without doing what He did? It’s no wonder Jesus shared how shocked many will be at the judgment when He tells them to depart.
2. They debate theology instead of proclaiming Christ.
I have met many people who after church will ask my what I believe about some obscure point of doctrinal debate. I’ve done this long enough to know any such conversation is rarely a good use of my time. Paul warns Timothy, the Pastor at Ephesus: In 2 Timothy 2:14 “charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” And later: 2 Timothy 2:23 (ESV) “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.”
There are far too many unbeleivers in America for Christians to spend their time debating what is debatable and not reaching the ones who are reachable. Jesus ignored the offense taken by Pharisees telling the disciples “Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Jesus leaves the 99 safe sheep in search of the 1 lost. I imagine He wants that characteristic in any Church that bears His name.
3. They slowly erode to the back row of the church and comfortable levels of faith.
I’m always astonished at the fizzle out rate of most Christians. When they are young in the Lord, fresh of the experience of meeting Christ, they can’t get enough of church, they get there early and stay late, they are up for anything the church is doing to spread the Gospel. They are telling their friends non stop about Jesus. But after a few years they settle in. They have been around long enough to learn how to go through the motions. What’s more problematic: I believe it could literally require an atomic bomb under their seat to change them. They are the Laodiceans who have grown luke warm and complacent. Apathy may not be as news-worthy as Adultery, but is just as sinful. Want proof? James says: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17
4. They can no longer tolerate change.
People who are “Too Christian” reminisce about the old days rather than embrace THIS day. I love the old days. Sometimes I’ll hear an old worship song, or walk into a church building with that certain “smell” and my mind will go back to the 1990s. I’ll think about the great times I had in youth and church growing up. But I refuse to idolize the past. It wasn’t that great. Psalm 118:24 says This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Yesterday is over.
Change is good. Let me repeat: Change is good. Why should the world be allowed to change to engage this culture and the church be stuck in patterns from the 1970s? I believe the devil loves a church that refuses to change. It keeps Christ’s body outdated, out of touch, and out of mind.
I want to be more involved with what the Holy Spirit is doing now rather than what He did back then.
So what should you do?
Check yourself! Maybe it’s time you washed someone’s feet, joined a small group, or prayed for personal revival. Maybe it’s time you remembered what Jesus did. Read the Gospels. Watch Jesus. Look at Him and do likewise.