Monday, May 25, 2009

Captive or Casual

Brad Boydston linked me to a great article today by Ventura resident George Barna on 7 tribes of believers and two distinct types within the Christian community: the Captive and the Casual believer. Here are Barna's words"
Barna: Casual Christians are driven by a desire for a pleasant and peaceful existence. Captive Christians are focused on upholding the absolute moral and spiritual truths they glean from the Bible.
Barna talks about the Casual Christian being the one who lives in peaceful co-existence with culture and always working on maintaining a "balance" between faith's demands and one's personal pleasures and comforts. I so identify with the balancing act; carving out my private spaces and pastoral access. Case in point is today: Memorial Day picnic. It should be my personal day off, to go decompress and refresh. But the whole congregation is gathering for softball at 9 am, a grand picnic at 11:30 and a dessert auction at 1:30. I can't miss that. I need to be where the people are. That's a pastoral mandate, an urgency.
So I got up early and spent time reading in quiet, doing emails, browsing the web and posting like this; getting "my time" in before entering the public realm. Someone I read recently (and since forgot) commented that our current preoccupation with balancing life's many demands is nowhere found in Scripture. "Take up your cross and follow me" is not about balance, but devotion (Captive). I think I need more captivity and less casualness.


At 12:32 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

I see your point on captive and casual but it seems to me those are the two ends of the spectrum. I find myself (and those like me at church) are casual (jeans on sundays, coffee in church, listen to hip secular music, support left/liberal causes) but are also captive (draw a line on key issues, seek to spread faith, believe strongly in service, tithe, support marriage, etc...). Must it be this OR that or can it be both?

At 7:02 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Captive or casual, if you look at the Barna link has deeper nuances than style or behavior, but to ultimate loyalties that drive and define people: following Jesus or allegiance to personal comfort?


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