The Crisis of Insipidity

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?

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11 Responses to The Crisis of Insipidity

  1. Bob Basile says:

    Spot on, my friend. You hit the nail swuarely on the head. I was at a mens study last Saturday, and foudn the same. A leading contemporary pastor was described as “secure and safe”, and that seemed attractive. Not to me, and obviously not to our Savior. We are a peculair poeple, so let’s stop trying to blend.

    • David Timms says:

      Bob, I was chatting with my wife last night and concluded that this might be a key reason so many men fail to find inspiration in faith. A soft Jesus who calls us to a soft life hardly sounds like gospel.

  2. Jerry D. Robertson says:

    Once again, you should have been a carpenter because you always ‘hit the nail right’ on the head! Thank you David.

  3. Christine Bailey says:

    you pinched my words Jerry. “hit the nail right on the head” or I was thinking “you nailed it David”. Has had me praying all day and lots of conversation with others today. It is the truth that sets us free.

  4. Nathan McElveney says:

    I’m so thankful you’re back writing your weekly snippets, David. This one’s left me feeling uncomfortable, which is exactly the prodding I regularly need, as safeness and comfort can so easily become my idols……

  5. Nancy Crawford says:

    Thank you David, I needed that too. I need to Life Him higher and stop bringing Jesus down to my level. I have missed getting your posts as well, I will subscribe again. Miss you and the gang!

  6. Nancy Crawford says:

    …LIFT Him higher…. I still have trouble with my fingers and these keys… )

  7. So good Dr. Timms, so true. Thanks for this. I included you in my blog today and am pointing people to what you challenge me with here.

    Thanks again. I am quoting from Living the Lords Prayer next week, I’ll remind folks of this blog as well as where they can get your book!

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