by Richard Mansel
They’re sitting in church pews on Sunday mornings, participating in worship to varying degrees. They’ve likely arrived late or at the last second. When the service is over, they will leave immediately, speaking to as few people as possible.
Accordingly, very few people in the congregation know them. By choice, they are largely invisible.
They are an intriguing group that needs a connection to the congregation, yet they’re not looking for one. They compromise a subset called the Minimums.
The Minimums are people who, whether consciously or subconsciously, have decided that there is a level in the Christian life at which God will be pleased and will have to save them. They think they have attained that level and do not wish to move any further.
Why would they? Is salvation not enough?
To the Minimums, there are different levels of Christians. Some are super-motivated to do more for the Lord. They Motivated want to attend all the worship services of the Church and all the activities, for some strange reason.
The Motivated are just Type A personalities who can’t sit still. They just wish the Motivated would stop pestering them about becoming one of them!
They already have salvation, so why should they miss their favorite program on television? They don’t need a guilt trip from some Bible verses. Everyone has his or her own truth anyway.
The Minimums think they understand true Christianity. Jesus wanted them to believe in him, have their sins washed away and live a moral life, and that was all. He did not want them to be nerds or super-Christians who never had any fun.
Their social status is very important and some Christianity gives them some respectability. However, their friends don’t want Bible-thumpers around.
The Motivated always talk about God’s grace and that salvation only comes because of Christ, not because of their efforts. They needed a Savior who could wash away their sins. His blood justifies them so they could have access to God.
The Motivated even think that when they become Christians they must change their lives so they will glorify Christ in everything. They’re always badgering the Minimums about their language and clothing, as if that mattered to God. They’re in worship aren’t they? No need to get carried away.
The Minimums feel fine with what they are doing. One hour a week of religion is enough for anybody. After all, they take communion and give a dollar or two. What more could be asked of them?
The Minimums know that avoiding hell is what the Christian life is all about. If the Motivated wanted to go on about how striving for heaven was more important than simply trying not to go to hell, that was fine. The Minimums can shake their heads and be polite.
The Minimums don’t need a Church family. They already have friends. Let the loners find a family. They just had to satisfy God for the week so they can go back to their lives.
The Motivated can have the rest because they, well, might be fanatics. Who needs that?