Insipid: adjective 1. without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; 2. without sufficient taste to be pleasing, as food or drink; bland.
My good friend Dr. Ken Logan and I have recently been chatting about the domestication of Jesus. Contemporary Christianity seems to have created a soft, palatable, controllable, predictable—insipid—Savior. The 21st century Christ rarely seems to reflect the Jesus of the Gospels who defied storms, confronted demons, and thundered through the Temple.
Our Jesus waits meekly to help us if we have problems. He’s “on call” for us. We look to Him for happiness, health, and answers; to save us from suffering. He’s soft and silent. And as we domesticate Him—tame Him—we pay a high price.
Our faith lacks adrenaline.
We see Christianity more as a place of security and protection than adventure and risk. Our faith is more of a sedative for our nerves than a call to battle. And this insipidity has reached crisis proportions. The dictionary provides the perfect synonym—bland.
It’s hard to say that we follow Jesus if we look nothing like Him. He owned nothing; we accumulate as much as possible. He did not seek fame; we jump at it. He hung out with the marginalized and neglected; we hob-nob with insiders and the well-connected. He confronted sin; we prefer to “judge not.” His Kingdom challenged the values of His day; we choose compromise and tolerance.
Many people walk away from the faith not because it is too hard but because it feels too tedious. We find ourselves overtaken by disinterest and boredom. Everything seems routine. The Cause seems too small. The fire is but a spark. Because we’ve domesticated Jesus.
The apostle John described the ancient church at Laodicea as lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—tasteless and bland. And the Lord said He would “spit them out of His mouth.” Our current crisis reflects an ancient condition.
Whenever we reduce Jesus to our level, whenever we treat Him casually or glibly, whenever we usurp His role as Lord in our lives, we diminish the vitality of our faith. And when our faith affects little more than the occasional moral choice, it eventually affects nothing at all.
How shall we once again stand before the Aslan of Narnia?