Is Christianity supposed to be easy? I’ve had this question on my mind a lot recently. Should that choice to live as a follower of Christ be free from inconvenience with the rest of your life? Most people would say “no”, but is that the way it actually is? Just look at our churches. The ultra-modern churches feature all the amenities necessary to woo us out of our beds on the weekend. They’ve adapted to the cultural changes to be whatever it is that an individual is looking for. Christianity, seems to do this more readily than any other religion. Don’t believe me? Try to find a contemporary Muslim worship service. How about a Hindu temple with a Starbucks café in it. Even those Christians who say they’re holding onto “traditional Christianity” are really just grasping at a time period they liked best, as if Jesus had a pipe organ and sang Amazing Grace. So when today’s culture glorifies hook-ups and one night stands it shouldn’t surprise anyone when Christians approach their relationship with Jesus as just a friend with benefits.
I recently stumbled across an article for a new website called parttimelove.co.uk. The site created by relationship author Helen Croydon targets people who want to be independent but also want to fall in love. Croydon says “We are not a no-strings website. We are for singles looking for regular partners with mutual attraction, genuine friendship, respect and a magical spark but whom have no expectations of moving in after three months and value their free time and independence”. Wait, what? So these are people who want the benefits of a committed, long-term relationship without making the personal sacrifices to maintain it on a daily basis? Makes sense to me. It sounds a lot like most of todays Christians who want the feel good assurance of salvation without the burden of everyday Christ-like living.
It’s sad that our culture has come to a point where we don’t want a continuous 24/7 relationship. That’s smothering and burdensome. We want our freedom. We don’t want responsibility, but we want assurance. It’s like renting a pet for the weekend because you just don’t want to deal with it during the week. Most of us do this already, ignoring families for work, gym, etc. all week long until the weekend when we try to buy each others love back with elaborate excursions. How many Christians do the same thing, ignoring prayer, devotion, and community service during the week then show up at elaborate worship services and hand out bulletins in order to re-enroll in their fire insurance. Deep down they really don’t want to change as much as they want to believe that they aren’t “bad people going hell”. Christianity to them is a check box, and something you own up to on a limited basis while you focus on other more visible issues of daily life. They want the relationship without the commitment and inconvenience.