Cafeteria Christianity

“I’ll take a Jesus Burger with some love and peace. Hold the exclusivity and wrath.” How often do we treat Jesus and the Christian faith like a cafeteria buffet line? Picking and choosing what we like but rejecting what we find objectionable or “out of date” compared to the current cultural norms.

If we find ourselves walking the Jesus buffet line then we need to ask ourselves if we really have saving faith in the God of the Bible or just a belief in a God?  If so, then James would say that you don’t even have a belief in God equivalent to the demons (James 2:19) because they at least acknowledge God as He truly exists – even though they are unrepentant and rebellious. If we are so quick to compromise our faith then there is something wrong.  As one writer puts it, “Real Faith Can’t be Checked at the Door“.

For the genuinely saved Christian reducing the faith in a pick-and-choose manner has damaging effects on both the gospel. This is counter-intuitive to those who promote that the church is the problem not Jesus because the majority of people seem to “like Jesus but not the church”.  Yet the “Jesus” the world likes is really “another Jesus”; not the Jesus of the Bible.  Along these lines, the authors of Why We Love the Church have this to say about having a cafeteria Christianity:

Karen Ward, an emergent church leader in Seattle, claims that 95 percent of the nonchurched in her area have a favorable view of Jesus, “so Jesus is not the problem. It is the church they dislike, because they do not readily see the church living out his teachings.” But the Jesus they like is certainly not the Jesus who calls sinners to repentance, claimed to be the unique Son of God, and died for our sins. He is almost certainly a nice guy, open-minded, spiritually ambiguous, and a good example.  He is guru Jesus who resembles Bono in a bathrobe. If the church is the problem, it is likely because the church gives shape and form to an otherwise malleable and hollow Christ. (p 78)


One thought on “Cafeteria Christianity

  1. My own very informal research here in South Africa shows the same tendency and perhaps the church should do some introspection. On the other hand, the true church consists mainly of dis-sect-ed Christians.

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