How You Know Your Christianity Has Become Too Casual

If your first reaction is to get defensive about these points, that probably means you especially need to hear them.

There is a great deal of angst in and over American Christianity these days. Liberal Christians accuse traditional evangelical Christians of selling out Jesus in order to support President Donald Trump. Traditional evangelical Christians scoff at that coming from those who they say sold out Jesus in order to support Hillary, and Obama before her.

Of course, as is so often the case, the truth may be lodged somewhere in the middle. There are a number of traditional evangelical Christians who support various policies of President Trump while still disagreeing with much of his rhetoric, his temperament, even his character and personal integrity. I know because I am one such Christian.

In the same way, there were undoubtedly a great number of liberal Christians who supported various policies of Barack Obama while disagreeing with his celebrity narcissism, his repeated race-baiting, even his shocking opposition to protecting innocent newborns who had survived abortion attempts.

So as the new year dawns, perhaps it would be wise for all of us who wear the name of Jesus to dial back the invective just long enough to do some introspection. Several months ago, Brett McCracken wrote an absolutely brilliant piece that every one of us who claim first allegiance to the eternal kingdom would be wise to read. He effectively outlines 8 different warning signs that our faith has become “too comfortable.” And it starts here:

If you’re all-in with one political party and never feel any tension whatsoever with your Christian faith, it probably means your faith is too comfortable. Whether you’re a lifelong Democrat or a diehard Republican, a robust Christian faith should create dissonance with politics at various points. A faith that aligns perfectly with one political party is suspiciously convenient and lacks prophetic witness.

Memes circulate regularly now on social media lampooning “Republican Jesus” and his refusal to feed the 5,000 because it would create dependency, or him declining to heal the sick because of their pre-existing conditions. And while there are obvious contextual abuses that accompany such characterizations, it certainly doesn’t hurt Republican Christians to ensure that their politics is kept subject to their faith rather than the other way around. And the same is true for Democrat Christians.

But McCracken’s piece went way beyond politics. And that’s where I found his piece particularly helpful as it outlined other concerning indications of a faith that has grown too casual. Things like:

If your Christian faith never confronts your idols and challenges your sinful habits—but only ever affirms you as you are—this is a sure sign of a too-comfortable faith. Healthy faith doesn’t just celebrate you as you are but relentlessly molds and refines you into the likeness of Christ, which is a beautiful but necessarily uncomfortable process.

And how about this:

It’s always more comfortable to just “live and let live” when there’s an offense or sin that needs to be called out. It’s more comfortable to just shrug when we see others in our community making unhealthy decisions. But this isn’t true Christian love. Love isn’t opposed to truth, and if your faith doesn’t include the capacity to speak hard truths in love, it’s too comfortable.

McCracken has five other warning signs, but these three alone are enough to challenge and chasten most of us. And if your first reaction is to get defensive about these points, that probably means you need it more than you know.

Quiet honestly I don't think many Christians practice their faith fully. Everyone makes allowances for their favorite sin.

I think the most dangerous mind set is thinking one political party or the other stands for your faith. They don't. Political parties are collections of constitutes who band together. Neither party is a vessel for Christian resurgence.

These are good points. Far too many Christians and churches have neglected the advance of the Gospel in order to advance political ideology, and even worse, political candidates and parties. We must engage with the culture around us to change it, but we cannot just be a political arm. I think the polarization of the political parties has led to this situation within the church. Going back 40 years ago, there were moral values and pro-life positions represented in both parties. This led to many mixed congregations, so partisan politics was kept out of the church. Now we have most churches that either adopt the SJW route, which leads them down a path aligned with liberals and the Democrat party, or they stand with traditional values as commanded in Scripture, which is opposed almost universally by the Democrat party. That by default makes most of these people stanch Republicans.


It is a failure of the church to stick to the Gospel and led God's Word guide Christians on their voting behavior. Instead the church has desired to become a partisan political arm, often in order to enhance the prestige and ego of some of its leaders. I think if there were more than one realistic option in party politics that aligned with, or at least tolerated, a Biblical world view, our churches would not be nearly as partisan. With our electoral system and built in advantage to the two power parties, I don't know that this dynamic can ever change. Imagine if we had choices between the GOP, Federalist and Libertarian parties that either held a Biblical worldview or accepted and tolerated those that do? Imagine if the left had the Democrats, Socialists and Green parties to choose which wrong they wanted to be? What if there was a centrist party that was available for all of those people who are economically liberal and socially conservative(ish)?


Another one of McCracken's signs was not remembering Sunday's sermon on Monday. That hasn't been a problem for me. The pastor recommended that we start our prayers in the coming week with, "Forgive me my sins," and enumerate specific sins if we're so inclined (sort of a Methodist version of confession). This is hanging me up. I'm quite sure I willfully put distance between me and God every day, but it's less frequently that I come up with something major enough to specify it. Maybe the first step is to pray to have them pointed out to me.

@peterheck - Great piece! Thanks for bringing McCraken's to our attention. Labels and ideological agendas divide. We who believe should simply strive to be followers of Christ...wherever that leads us. Again, great piece!


I totally agree

There is ample evidence that the National Democratic Party has become a criminal enterprise. We are stuck with 'the lesser of two evils', because the American culture in toto is no longer fit for self-governance. THIS is our sad political dilemma; how we deal with it as individual Christians is a distinct issue. We need to stop conflating the two issues.

Given what the democrat party stands for today, I truly do not see how anyone who follows or supports their evil ideology can in good conscience call themselves a believer in Jesus Christ. Certainly Christ did not advocate, promote, and support the wanton slaughter of unborn human beings, which is a keystone of the democrat religion. I could go on, but that is not necessary. I will also say that the republicans are not far behind if they don't clean up their act. Unfortunately, politics IS the religion of many; the worship of mammon is an end time indication as well as the promotion of sin and perversion and the reprobate minds running so rampant these days.

Personally I don't believe you can support the democrat party and be a practicing Christian. They are the anti-God party. As a party they favor abortion, homosexuality and at their convention wanted to take God out of their platform. With that being said you may agree with some of their policies and disagree with some of the Republican policies, but I don't believe you can be a democrat and true Christian..