Dodging Discourgement From Christian Lemmings

27 11 2007

LemmingsOne of the video games that I found myself addicted to for a week or two in college was Lemmings.  Hundreds of these little green guys would march into an obstacle course laced with every kind of danger and it was the player’s job to save them from all simply walking off a cliff and somehow direct them to safety.

Nothing discourages me faster than watching the lives of Christian Lemmings (and in the midwest they are everywhere!).  A Christian Lemming is a Christian by default.  They never really decided to become a Christian but conservative Christianity is the air they breath and now they find they can’t feel be comfortable with anything else.  In many communities they are the model believers.  Never doubting a word that falls from the preachers lips as long as it is perfectly in line with what they’ve always known to be true.  If they were raised in a Muslim society they would be the model Muslims.  If they were born in a Mormon family Mormonism would be the obvious truth and non-believers would all be sadly deluded.

And this is why I find them so discouraging.  Their faith is so completely conditioned, their beliefs so unquestioningly unquestioned that its impossible to imagine their convictions as noble.  Their faith is a complete accident of their upbringing as much to their credit as a zebra its stripes.

I find I have nothing in common with Christian Lemmings.  Much deeper companionship can be found with non-believers seeking for truth than accidental Christians.  So what do you do when you find yourself in a relationship with one?  Help wake them up!   You must challenge their faith because its fake – a sham.  It would have crumbled during college from a single honest question from a cynical professor so their parents insisted on Christian college instead.

They are the biggest embarrassment to true Christianity.  Many genuine seekers have left the faith so disillusioned by Lemming behavior.  So now I try to never forget the distinction between Christian Disciples and Christian Lemmings.  The first is a true brother or sister even if we’ve never met and the latter is a person sleepwalking toward a distant cliff.

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4 responses

27 11 2007
Dave

Oh man. That was amazing. That was so encouraging to read. I go through this conflict in my head all the time about what I should look like as a Christian man and I always end up comparing myself to the Lemming Christian because like you said, they look like the ideal believer. But I hated it because it felt wrong but I could never put my finger on it directly. Man I feel good after reading that.

29 11 2007
Julie

So what does a leader like yourself do with a doubting family member?
As a parent who sacrificed to send my children to Christian college–but not to create lemmings–I am curious as to your wisdom on this issue? Julie

29 11 2007
Jeremy

Doubting people are very refreshing to me. They are honest and you can continue to discuss the faith with them and pray for them hoping they will find Christ. What I find far more discouraging are the millions of people in the Midwest who go to church every week, serve in ministries, vote Republican all because they were raised to. These are non-Christians of the most frustrating sort because they’ve been trained to never question their faith, to never “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” and will unfortunately die in their sins having never truly confessed Jesus as Lord and having never even been truly challenged to be a Disciple (someone who gives up everything to follow Christ – Luke 14:33).

They are the vast crowd from Matt. 7 who say “Lord, did we not do all this ministry” and Jesus will say He never knew them.

And everywhere I go in the Midwest “Christian parents” are actually taught that they need to train their children to become Christian Lemmings and they do a great job of it.

4 03 2008
caji

uhmmm…. Really? It’s quite a dismay that you think christians and lemmings are alike. What I mean is that duh! Calling a lemming a christian lemmingis an insult to both sides. lemmings have the ability to think for themselves – and that’s why they’ve existed for thousands of years- earlier than humans and christianity itself. Anyway, the game (i’m playing it now) is great.

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