Some people practice drive-by Christianity. What do I mean by this?
My family sometimes like to order at drive-by restaurants. I don’t like it at all. I enjoy the experience of going somewhere, sitting down, and eating the food. But these days, no one seems to have time to wait for anything. They just want to get the food as quickly as possible and eat it in the car.
I mean that their Christianity consists of going to church on a weekend, get through the programme, hoping that it doesn’t go on too long, and then they get back to their everyday lives. And they usually don’t take much of what they got in church home with them. We sprinkle a thin layer of Christianity over the other six days and basically live to please ourselves.
That isn’t Christianity. It isn’t what being a follower of Jesus is all about. The Bible doesn’t talk about visiting the house of God. It talks about dwelling in the house of God:
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4).
This isn’t really talking about living within the four walls of your church. This is talking about living continually in the presence of the Lord. It’s talking about a Christianity that’s twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
What’s wrong with drive-by Christianity? It is the same as drive-by food. You pick and choose what you like and you end up with a junk diet. In drive-by Christianity you try to take the glory without the suffering, the abundance without the sacrifice, and the victory without the surrender. But Jesus taught that,
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matt 16:24–26).
Inherent in this statement is the reality that the pursuit of Christ is a pursuit of the whole mind, heart, and life. It requires complete commitment and surrender, as he taught in the parable of the pearl of great price (Matt 13:45–46).
Of course salvation is through faith, by believing in Jesus. But it’s easy to say that you believe because you “drive through” the “religion driveway.” But that doesn’t make you a Christian any more than an attending weddings and funerals at church makes an atheist a Christian.
Faith isn’t some kind of superficial mental assent. Faith is trusting for real. Trusting is surrender, and not many are willing to surrender. That’s why Jesus said,
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13–14).
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.