Causal vs Casual

Undoubtedly, you have seen the trending silicone bracelets worn to raise awareness for a particular cause. No longer a teen fad, many adults will even be seen sporting one of the neon bands on their wrists, too.

“Save the Ta-Tas”
“Save the Whales”
“Pray for Japan”
“Abort73”
“HOPE”
“Think Pink”
“Prostate Cancer Awareness”
“I [Heart] Hello Kitty”
“Autism Awareness”
“Pro-Life”
“TWLOHA” (To Write Love on Her Arms)
“Child-Abuse-Prevention Awareness”
“LIVESTRONG”

Perhaps they are a cancer survivor, perhaps their youth group is raising money for a pregnancy resource center. Perhaps they just want to be cool and so they find a touching cause with a nice color and they wear it fashionably.

I’m not against silicone bracelets; actually, I rather like them. But for today’s article I want to use them to illustrate a point:

It is easy to be “associated” with a cause, without really doing anything worthwhile about it.

I first began to understand this concept when I volunteered at a local pregnancy resource center. I was raised with the mentality that abortion was wrong, but I quite honestly could not explain why it was wrong. If asked, the best possible answer I might use would go something like this:

“Well, it kills babies. And that’s murder, and murder’s wrong.”

Yes, it does kill babies. Yes, it is murder–and yes, murder is wrong.

But it goes so much farther than that! I began to learn that being pro-life is more than an identity; it must be a lifestyle. I began studying about abortion procedures, I read pain-filled stories of women who had undergone an abortion (or numerous ones), and I interacted with ladies whose life events, very different from mine, would make it easy for them to be “abortion-minded”. And understandably so.

I began to view abortion as the result of situations drenched in fear, drained of love, which left such a procedure as seemingly “the only way out”. It was not, as I had previously (and ignorantly) concluded, a horrible action done by evil women who were just trying to be cruel to their unborn babies.

To quote pro-life feminist Frederica Mathewes-Green:

“No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.”

Do you sense the underlying cause here? It’s fear. It’s love deprivation. It’s humanity begging for release.

Now, understanding that, how should we respond to someone considering an abortion–or someone who has already had one? Do we tell them that they are wrong and cruel and shameful for thinking such things? Do we condemn them and tell them how God’s heart breaks for the death of their little ones?

How dare we.

No. Instead, we recognize that they need love. They need comfort. They need to know that God’s heart breaks for them and that He longs to know them and that He has given His life for them so that they may know life and know it fully (John 10:10). And where we have sinned, and where they have sinned, God has forgiven (Is. 43:25, 1 John 1:9).

The point I am trying to make, however scrambled it may be, is this:

What we say we believe has to be lived out. I could say that I was pro-life, but if pro-life merely consisted of wearing a silicone bracelet, all I would be is a bracelet fan.

This applies deeply to us as Christians. What political, ethical, social, moral or spiritual issues do we claim to take a stance on–without actually doing anything about? This really should bother us!

Do you claim to be pro-life? Would anyone else know that if you didn’t wear a bracelet?

Do you believe that God is dearly concerned with the well-being of your mind? Would anyone know that from your media choices?

Do you believe that God desires control of every area of your life?

God is not seeking casual Christians: lukewarm, half-baked leftovers from your childhood Sunday School class. No, He is seeking causal Christians: men and women who surrender their claim to their lives and who are actively committed to God.

As Charles Spurgeon said in his sermon, “Threefold Sanctification”,

“If you and I be sanctified by God the Father, we ought never to be used for any purpose–but for God.”

May it be true of us.

“[Jesus said], ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
– John 10:10

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
– Isaiah 43:25

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9

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