C.S. Lewis once wrote, “One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite
importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” (“Christian Apologetics” from God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)
I think about the utter truth of this statement quite often. It describes a true dichotomy, yet many live within an imaginary middle space where Christian faith is occasionally claimed but rarely, if ever, holds primacy.
The outright rebellion of atheism makes more sense to me than such casual “faith.” The former is at least comprehensible based on the fact that the unbeliever is in purposeful denial of God, usually claiming some brand of [pseudo]intellectualism for their disbelief. But the person who verbally claims Christianity whenever it’s convenient to do so, yet opposes it in words, deeds, and an utter lack of any outward sign of allegiance to their Creator… that’s the person I struggle to comprehend. Content to ignore God in their day-to-day life, they are nevertheless quick to ask for prayer when they meet a life struggle. It hurts my heart, and I know it must hurt the heart of God infinitely more.
Consider Revelation 3:15-17. (God is addressing the church at Laodicea, but the account is included in our Scripture because of the lesson it provides to ALL churches.)
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
In our era, the word “rich” in the passage above could be interchanged with “educated” or “self-sufficient.” To be sure, this is sometimes indication of a corrupt, unrepentant heart, though the individual has deluded themselves into a comfort zone where the “God issue” is concerned. Some are ignorant of the solid reasons that exist for trusting the truth-claims of Christianity, so they view the faith as being only possibly or partially true. I think there are many who have simply never paused to consider how their life belies the “Christian” label they enjoy using from time to time.
Note that I am not talking about the imperfections all Christians spend their lives struggling to overcome. We all fail God utterly and frequently. I’m talking about the person who, though occasionally claiming faith in Christ, is apparently unconcerned with living out that faith. For them, it is only a label of convenience, one less important than political correctness, personal pride, or the pursuit of sensory pleasure.
The holy God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be justified in ending His declaration with verse 17 of Revelation chapter 3 (above). He does not. Instead, He extends the opportunity for grace, mercy, and a rich, victorious life in Him:
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev. 3:18-21)
No, Christianity could NEVER be moderately important.
In this Christmas season, may we all be reminded of God’s gift to mankind and give Him glory and honor by acknowledging, in every possible way, the infinite importance of Jesus Christ.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming!!!