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Our preacher related a story about someone who referred to themselves as a ‘closet Christian.’ Not being familiar with such a term, I set about trying to conclude what was being meant by such a statement. A closet is a place that one keeps things. The word closet is only mentioned three times in the Bible—all three suggest they are places where one meets in secret.
I have a book written by George Barna called The Seven Faith Tribes. Barna is the founder of a research group which is widely known and respected for its research. In this book he talks about the ‘casual Christian.’ Casual Christians share most of the values of American life—personal fulfillment, family values, goals, the American dream and a faith-based belief in God. The casual part is “an arms’-length relationship with their acknowledged Creator.” (pg. 35 of the book).
Now, suppose in Mark 5:22 that Jairus, who had a dying daughter, had been a casual Christian; or, better yet, the woman in verse 25 who had a hemorrhage for twelve years. How would it change the stories? Both would not have been looking for a healing. Why? Because they wouldn’t believe that it was possible. Look at verse 36. When Jairus is told that his daughter has died, Jesus says not to be afraid and to only believe.
How is it possible to be in a closet or casual as a Christian? Faith or believing must, by it’s very nature, move us into action. James 1:22-27 keeps Christians mindful of what they are to do.
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