Let’s settle this upfront: There is no substitute for full-cream milk. It tastes better, it froths better, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. In every way, full-cream milk is the most rewarding kind of dairy beverage to have in your life.
There are those who opt for the lite version of this luscious liquid. Perhaps they do it to try and control health issues. Maybe it is driven by fear or motivated by so-called “healthy choices.” Whatever the reason, it’s still a sell-out. It’s a compromise on real milk, the way milk is supposed to be, the way God intended it to be.
Some people have taken a similar approach to Christianity. They’ve opted for the lite version. Skimming the fat, they’ve also taken out the good stuff: the nutrients and the delicious flavour. Sadly, they can become so accustomed to the taste of lite faith that they forget how good the real thing is.
This week I have witnessed a few versions of lite milk Christianity. Here are some of them and there’s probably more:
- Safe worship. For some, being safe in worship means doing the same thing every week. It might be always loud and boisterous without any space for stillness. Or it might be all reflection with no passion. For others, safe worship means singing without actually encountering God. Whatever form it takes, worship without a meeting with God is just noise. This is lite milk worship.
- Filler prayer. There is a kind of prayer that is intentional, authentic and grasps the nearness of God in our lives. Then there is the type of prayer employed in filling in awkward silences and transitioning us from one part of a church service to another. It’s obvious when it happens. It’s lite milk prayer.
- Fellowship poverty. You know fellowship is bad in a church when people don’t feel welcome and have trouble integrating into the church. You know there are problems when people are so satisfied with their friendship circles that they do not care to meet new people. You know something’s amiss when you go out of your way to talk to people and get nothing back. You can smell trouble when you talk to others in church about God and they glaze over. This is lite milk fellowship.
- Insularity. Full-cream Christianity looks like inclusion and equality. Christ taught us that in Him, all races are equal, both genders are equal, age is irrelevant, social and marital status take a back seat and riches become meaningless. Yet we continue to believe that certain (white) races are smarter, more capable, richer and superior. We accept patriarchal systems as a given and we minimise the contributions of young people. We are so comfortable in our social club – I mean church – that we forget there’s a whole community of hurting, disconnected and hell-destined people outside our front door. It’s lite milk church and lite milk mission.
- Self-reliance. Trust in God is all well and good in theory, but many of us actually trust in things other than God. Things like the bank balance, investment properties, job security and relationships can lure our trust more than God. If we profess to trust in God but we rely more on ourselves or other things in tough times, we’re practicing lite milk faith.
There’s probably more versions out there but I think you get the idea. Lite milk Christianity compromises the way Christ meant for us to live: born-again, sacrificial, take-up-your-cross, heart-mind-soul-and-strength kind of living. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a craving for that kind of living.
Full-cream milk, anyone?
What kinds of lite milk Christianity have you noticed? Comment below!