Thursday, September 14, 2017

Playing at Christianity

Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio

I've been re-reading some Kierkegaard. He writes:

"Truly there is that which is more contrary to Christianity, and to the very nature of Christianity, than any heresy and schism, more contrary than all heresies and all schisms combined, and that is to play Christianity."

And what could "play Christianity" mean?

Perhaps "playing at Christianity" means...

... liking the awesome music more than worshiping God from the heart (you don't need music to worship)

... spending more time, energy, and money on staging than on discipling and missions

... saying "I follow Jesus" on Sunday, but not following him Monday through Saturday

... taking no time to pray, while having time to text and tweet

... telling someone "I'll pray for you," and never doing it

... self-righteously judging others, while having a secret sin life

... "attending" church without serving as the church (many Christians come on Sunday mornings to be serviced)

... going after "decisions" for Christ while neglecting the Great Commission, which is the labor of disciple-making

... being kind and loving in public, while hateful and despising in your home

... focusing on appearance, rather than cultivating the heart

... wanting to be seen, more than wanting Christ to be magnified

... hating your enemies, rather than loving and praying for those who persecute you

How can we know what real Christianity is so we don't just play at it? I suggest going back to the four Gospels, and then the book of Acts. Meet Jesus again, as if for the first time. Of course, you have to want this more than anything else. Otherwise, you're just playing at Christianity.

If you want to go deeper, see my book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.

My next book, Leading the Presence-Driven Church, will be out Fall 2017.