This past Sunday our pastor delivered a sermon on Half-Baked Christians and it really hit home with me in my quest to overcome my anger issues. What is the definition of a Half-Baked Christian? That is a Christian who is one way on the outside, but on the inside, are completely different. They are “Sunday Christians” for lack of a better description. They come to church and act and speak as we would expect a “good” Christian to behave, but come Monday through Saturday, they are so worldly that you would never know that they are a Believer. Their speech, actions, and attitudes are counter-intuitive to that of a Born Again Believer in Jesus Christ.
So, what are some red flags that someone might be a Half-Baked Christian? For one thing, they have a divided allegiance or loyalty to Christ. There is a lack of thoroughness in their Godly character. If they spout “Christianese” at church, but at work their language is vulgar with the telling of off-color jokes or agreeing that such conversation is appropriate, it can be a sign that they are not completely committed to living a life devoted to God. They see nothing wrong with that type of behavior outside of church. For me, as I continue to try and conquer my anger, it makes me stop and question, “What kind of attitude do I possess outside of church? Do my actions and language line up with what I say I believe? Can people tell that I am a Christ-follower?”
Another sign is that they become utterly useless in demonstrating Christian character and promoting the cause of Christ. They will not share with those around them the journey they’ve been through and how God has helped them, saved them, comforted them, or delivered them. In fact, most likely, they have never spoken to anyone about their faith. They also may be very strong on following the law, but lack any love for others.
Pastor referenced how Israel forsook God. If you are familiar with the book of Hosea, God told Hosea to marry a prostitute, so being obedient, He married Gomer. If you follow the story, she was very unfaithful to him. She bore him children, but even though she was married to Hosea, she continued in her harlotry. Hosea loved Gomer and was faithful to her in spite of her unfaithfulness to him. God had Hosea do this as an object lesson to Israel, because, like Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea, Israel was unfaithful to God, even though He loved them and was faithful to them. Pastor began to outline reasons Israel was unfaithful to God. 1. They lacked knowledge of His Word. They were not dedicated to reading His Word on a regular basis. 2. They were full of pride and self-sufficiency. They didn’t believe that they needed God’s help; they could do things on their own. 3. There was instability. Their loyalty was like the morning dew, just melted away with the heat of the day. (Hosea 6:4) The King James Version says their goodness was like the morning clouds, it just vanished. 4. They had unworthy leadership. Where the head leads, the body follows. If you have leadership that is unstable, you can’t expect the flock to remain stable. Remember, the Bible says we are like sheep…sheep are dumb, they need a shepherd. Without good leadership, the sheep will fall into every crevice and deep hole out there.
So what was the result of Israel’s unfaithfulness? There was barrenness in the land and in their hearts. There was abandonment and destruction, and God took the hedges from around them. In spite of their disobedience, God still loved them, and even though He had to bring punishment upon them, He yearned for them to return to Him.
So, this is where I stop and take account of myself. Am I unfaithful to God in my actions, my speech, and my attitudes? Am I one way inside and another way outside? As I work out my faith, I am reminded that God hasn’t given up on me yet. As long as I strive to be the Christian He has called me to be, I have the assurance that He will continually walk with me, pushing me to be better than I am, and to be more like Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me. Thank you for the nudges in my life You give me to correct those things that bring you heartache. As I strive to conquer those things, help me to remember that I can’t do this on my own. I need You to help me. Thank you for Your grace, for without it, I would have no hope. I love you Lord, and I will try to do my best to be a fully committed Christian, on the inside and on the outside. Amen.