Sunday, June 6, 2021
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1 KJV).
How can we prevent ourselves from being “Christianettes?”
In our fallen, natural, or sinful state, we humans have a nature divided into two extremes. There is asceticism on one end and lasciviousness on the other. Asceticism is the strict, legalistic, “self-disciplined” crowd, people obsessed with religious rites, rituals, and ceremonies; they fight the urge to engage in wild living by “managing” their sin with some prescribed denominational, religious, or spiritual routine. Lasciviousness is the loose, rowdy, “worldly” crowd, people fixated on doing whatever they want to do without any regard for boundaries or moderation; they fight against the inclination to pursue strict living by “managing” their sin with actions that defy prescribed religion.
A “Christianette” is someone caught in the above spectrum. Whether a genuine member of the Body of Christ, or just another lost person joining a local church, they are conducting themselves somewhere between asceticism and lasciviousness. They have not matured in grace principles, so they are involved with the “sins of the spirit” (works-religion) and/or the “sins of the flesh” (worldliness). In the case of the member of the Body of Christ, he or she is a living contradiction: a sinning saint does not make sense at all. As for the mere church member, we would expect a lost person (non-Christian) to act like a lost person (non-Christian): there is nothing surprising there!
Considering the two aforementioned erring Christian groups to whom Paul ministered, it is no coincidence we find one extreme of human nature dominating one crowd and the other extreme of human nature controlling the other multitude. Regarding the predicament of Galatia, they are the rigorous religionists, Moses-oriented (Galatians 4:21): “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” As touching Corinth, they are the lax humanists, man-oriented (1 Corinthians 3:3): “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
All these centuries later, the Body of Christ as a whole is still wavering between the sin of Galatia (strict) and the sin of Corinth (loose). Individuals thus suffer the effects….