“It’s just not my kind of style”. Such a common phrase to hear amongst Christians today when on the hunt for a church to attend. There is the common list of complaints that extend even beyond the decision of a local church and to how we view Christianity as a whole.
It’s to tame/to wild.
The worship is boring.
The worship is too loud.
It’s to traditional/contemporary.
It’s to inner focused.
These are common complaints about churches. I will say that I can understand the desire for a place where you feel you can fit in. I understand how difficult it can be when you feel suppressed in your worship time because the people you are with would consider it improper. I understand some churches just feel like they can be dieing in their traditional ways to the point where you feel suffocated. There is dangerous territory in this arena though. I often find that this attitude extends further into some of the basis of Christianity itself.
This view of Christianity is too legalistic.
I don’t like mentions of God’s wrath and anger.
Why don’t we just focus on these parts of the Bible?
The Old Testament isn’t that important.
Eventually these preferences become outright wrong beliefs in God and Christianity.
Jesus never judged anyone.
Christianity is too soft on sinners.
God does not hate or is never angry.
Meeting the physical needs is just as important as meeting their spiritual needs.
The prosperity gospel is the gospel. (God wants you to be successful and wealthy)
The social gospel is the gospel. (Jesus is not important as much as helping the poor)
I could go on and on with any of these lists, but you get the point. They are all symptoms of the same problem. It is the problem of selfishness. We want a Christianity that caters to us as an individual. We want to believe in a Christianity that requires the least amount of change in beliefs and thought that we already have. Much of it is rooted in good views such as helping the poor, loving others, being a go getter. However, when we focus all of Christianity towards certain tendencies we will often omitted other crucial parts of God Himself.
We create for ourselves a safe kind of Christianity. We essentially demand God to meet us on our terms, and to change to fit our views. That is not how Christianity works though. We are called by God to be the ones who change. The idea is not to make our faith look more and more like a faith we would have always believed, but rather for us to change ourselves to resemble Christ more and more in every aspect of His character rather than the ones that already come naturally to us.
Failure in this area results in catastrophic problems. There is a reason why countless people do not properly understand God and Christianity because they meet so many people of the faith with such vast and wrong views over all of it. Some of us naturally lean towards aspects of the faith. Some of us are more inclined to be prophets who call out on sin. Some of us are encouragers, mercy givers, servants, teachers, etc. We use the spiritual gifts as an excuse to ignore other parts of Christianity. That is wrong though. We are meant to depend on Christ to balance us out into a person that is complete. We are meant to grow in our faith and go beyond our “Spiritual gifts”. Yes our strengths will be what we use the most, but it is not excuse to ignore the other aspects to God and the faith.
We don’t get to decide how God works and who he is. He does not change for us. We are meant to change for Him. Anything less is a heart rooted in pride and selfishness.