Unbelieving Christians

Sometimes the most unbelieving people we will ever meet are Christians.  Think about it for a moment…

When I say this, I don’t have any particular person in mind.  Rather, this is a realization I’ve come to from various conversations and other engagements I’ve had.  On the surface, they’ll appear as believers.  That is, they belong to a local church, own a Bible or two or three, live a morally upstanding life that’s at least acceptable in the eyes of their church peers, give to various Christian and charitable causes, and on and on the list might go.  But get beyond the surface and…

  • Instead of speaking truthfully from the depths of scripture, they’ll reverberate with their conventional wisdom sometimes called “common sense.”
  • Instead asking how Jesus and the the gospel bears upon particular issues in life, they’ll turn appeal to their old stand-by platitudes and political assumptions.
  • Instead of praising God for the bold and courageous vision given to their preacher, they’ll complain and say, “Don’t get too radical.”

Of course they believe but only up to a point.  Anything beyond that point which invites them to let go of their life and think deeper, believe bigger dreams, expect greater things, speak with gospel wisdom, pray the risky prayers, love more courageously, live fearlessly, etc…

Well, at that point, belief turns to disbelief.  These unbelieving Christians  become the source of great frustration and discouragement to any number of other Christians, preachers included, as they will say about anything to rebuff God from calling and speaking a word into their lives.  Perhaps that is why at the end of his first letter to Timothy, Paul reminded him to “…guard what has been entrusted to your care.  Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith” (1 Tim 6:20-21).

Yes, it is true.  Sometimes the most unbelieving people we will ever meet are Christians.  So let us pray that we never meet such an unbelievers in our mirrors.

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9 responses to “Unbelieving Christians

  1. My experience has been that most Christians, me included, are subject to this to some degree! It’s too easy to come to think that the whole faith thing is decided and locked up, and to confuse faith with elements of the prevailing culture, and substitute that for an ever-searching, ever-deepening look into the heart of God.

  2. I very much agree with the article and with Jim’s comment. As Wordsworth said “the world is too much with us…”

  3. Thanks, Rex. Have you thought about writing a follow-up post about what Christians should do when they find unbelievers in their mirrors?

  4. Ditto, Steve. I see the unbelieving Christian frequently in the mirror- relying too often on conventional wisdom or common sense rather than on the Word of God.

    • That’s exactly what I ask God to never let me settle for. And the scary thing is that it is possible to do a lot of Christian things on the power of human ingenuity.

      Grace and Peace,

      Rex

  5. Pingback: When The Unbelieving Christian Is Me… | Kingdom Seeking

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