Balance in Christ?

This is in reply to a question that a friend online made about whether we should have balance like eastern religions in our life as Chrisitians. Can we have too much Christianity? You can go read the whole question if you like at GLCC alumni, which is by no way officially sanctioned by Great Lakes Christian College.

Balance as in a little bit of self and a little bit of God never appears to exist in Scripture. Enjoying the things of this world in moderation seems to. But truly following Jesus and experiencing life to the fullest requires a complete and total commitment to follow him. There doesn't appear to be any minimum Christianity.

"Take up your cross daily and follow me." That implies extremism. Unfortunately, It's so cliche nowadays. But it is a call to extremism just like the rest of the gospels. We have to be willing to die dailly for the cause of Christ.

The problem might be the people you consider to be completely committed to God aren't. They might just be completely committed to the rituals that those completely committed to God established at some point. The strong faith of someone in the past is always mimicked by those in the future. We live in the future of many great people of faith.

If you're like me, you don't see great faith modeled often. At one point in my journey at Great Lakes I gave up on Christianity. (Not because of any of the professors.) I became completely frustrated with what I felt was the whole charade.

I remember going to a church function at the church I grew up with. They were having a campfire and such. I went for a walk with my mom around the yard. I told her there that I don't think I'm a Christian any more. She wept. I hugged her. I just couldn't be a Christian when all the world is filled with all of these fake people who think they are saved just because they have proper belief statements.

Thankfully, God didn't give up on me. God laid Isaiah 5:1-7 on my heart. It's a story about God trying his best to create a fruitful vineyard. However, he did all he could and it still produced bad grapes. He told others to "judge between me and my vineyard." At that point I decided to do just that. I can't judge God based upon the people who claim to follow Him, but I can surely live my life in such a way that I hope people will see God through the way I follow him. I hope that my life on and offline does such a thing.

Obeying the teachings of Christ and following him isn't something that is frowned upon by someone in love with Christ. As you mentioned the Bible does say, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). It goes on to say, "They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them" (John 14:21) In 15:12 he goes on to state what that commandment is: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

Freedom in Christ, which you seem to be implying the people who have just enough God exhibit, is to be used to further that commandment. "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

In conclusion, I don't think there can be too much of the faith Jesus taught in us. We can follow empty traiditions and fake rituals too much, but we cannot follow him too much. We are expected to follow him to such an extent that we are willing to die for him, that we are willing to put aside our own wishes and desires, follow his example, and become slaves to those around us. I don't see how anyway could ever take that as balance between self and God.

We give our whole life to God for him to do with as he wills. That is what makes us Christian. I think the eastern teaching of balance is helpful when we talk about work and family or rest and activity; however, it doesn't come into play when we talk about God and our lives. In those cases it's either all or nothing.

Have a great weekend and watch out for the potholes.