It is getting close to Easter, which is one of the seasons for “E Christians” to emerge among the Church ranks. “E Christians” are the yearly counterparts of “C Christians.” “E and C” stand for Easter and Christmas. People of this sort attend Church or countenance a vague Christian affiliation only briefly during the Easter and Christmas seasons. Otherwise, these excuse themselves in a variety of ways during the course of the year from any real commitment to the expectations of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Though their excuses are considered as personally legitimate, it actually becomes a matter of spiritual “lame-icity,” which is a word I once made up to capture the essence of any spiritual-related excuse people associated with the Church offer to offset Christian duties.
It is amazing how comfortable people are with lame-icity. For example, a man asked his neighbor if he could borrow the weed-eater the neighbor had. The neighbor explained that lending out his weed-eater was not possible because there were clouds in the sky. The borrower questioned what clouds in the sky had to do with using the weed-eater. The neighbor replied, “The clouds do no have to do with anything about it. But, if I do not want you to use my weed-eater, any excuse is as good as another.”
Such is an old joke, but it does reveal the unconscious principle for church-related lame-icity. While Christ may expect commitment, any excuse for not lending their lives to Christ is legitimate. In the end, however, lame-icity de-legitimizes professed faith in Jesus Christ. Lame-iciters do not want to be confronted with thinking that faithlessness actually disassociates them from Christ.
A hen once proposed to her hog friend that they start up a restaurant business together. “We could feature eggs and ham,” said the hen. The hog replied, “Good for you to make such a suggestion. All it would take from you would be a contribution. But, from me, it would take total commitment.”
The Lord bluntly confronted lame-icity when He stated, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” What the Lord was stipulating was not a matter of following Him from a comfortable distance. But, pro-actively accompanying Him in a close and intimate manner.
The message of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is inherently ineffective because of all the lame-icity projected by those associated with the Church. The Lord was certainly no lame-iciter. He was committed to providing an eternity-changing difference for each of us. He was committed in walking every inch of the Calvary road for each of us. He was committed to enduring every necessary moment of Calvary pain for each of us. He was committed in bleeding every important drop of Calvary blood for each of us.
He made no excuses that could have effectively hindered the purpose of what He came to do. He demonstrated His commitment with how He lived. He demonstrated His commitment with a close and vibrant dedication to the will of God and the principles of God.
He legitimized having faith in God. He exemplified what the people of the Church should purposely exemplify—-offering no lame excuses that would otherwise countermand the effect of the Gospel message.
I have frequently told about an experience I had. I was going through a certain neighborhood knocking on doors and inviting people to church. I noticed a family sitting in the yard beside their house, and I crossed the street to extend an invitation. I greeted them and introduced myself with, “I want to invite all of you to visit with us at church this coming Sunday.”
With a smirk, the lady said, “Thank you for asking, but we cannot come this Sunday. We are scheduled to get together and wrap Christmas presents.”
At that time, it was the middle of August.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and ministers in the local area.