The church billboard advertised itself as:
- The Lite Church
- Half the Gospel of Other Churches
- 24% fewer commitments
- 7.5% tithe
- 3 of 4 Spiritual Laws
- Worship every other Sunday
As this goes to print, it begins the 75th year since Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at age 36. He was an anti-Nazi dissident and a Lutheran pastor. In his classic book are the words, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” (The Cost of Discipleship)
Dangers of Lite Church Theology
Lite Church theology results in cheap grace. It is opposite of Jesus’ words, “If anyone comes after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Denying, dying and dedicating are not appealing to a culture obsessed with pleasure, prosperity, and popularity.
Jesus was even tempted to become a Lite Church Messiah. Turn stones to bread and they will love it. Impress everyone with the sensational by jumping off the temple. Force people to worship and you will have a huge following. Jesus would not compromise. Instead, He chose the cross.
That’s one of the reasons Easter is so essential to our faith. Christ endured the shame and suffering of the cross before the glory of the resurrection.
Baptism is a burial, not a bath. It declares our death and new life in Christ. Easter Sunday night we offer to baptize anyone who would die in Christ. Our two requirements are: 1) You have received Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. 2) You are 12 or older. I will baptize someone younger, but only after a minister or parents have discussed this thoroughly with them.
In a pawn shop window of jewelry was a small sign that said, “Crosses at convenient terms.” Following Christ is not about convenience, it is about commitment. I’m glad to be a part of it.