Tag Archives: Labels

Am I a Christian Zombie????

Am I a Christian zombie? Now that’s an interesting question you might be thinking. Freeze the first picture that went through your mind. Everyone knows what a zombie is. In our culture they have become folk heroes, video game celebrities, and movie icons. It might even be chic, bad, hot, rad, or cool (depending on the generational language you speak) to be a zombie.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page let’s get a working definition for a zombie. It’s a dead body that appears alive. I could give a more graphic description of one but this will suffice. We use the term “zombie” as a slang term to denote someone who is just one click on the life meter above a corpse. All of us have had days when we’ve wandered around in a funk or fog wondering what the heck am I doing? I’m breathing air, occupying space, but getting nothing done. You know what I mean—it’s a dead man (or woman—zombies are no respecter of persons) walking.

It’s very easy to go through the motions in our relationship with God. If we are honest, all of us have done this at one time or another. You may have been weary and exhausted, or caught in sin, or hurt by someone you trusted, and then, all of a sudden, you wake up two weeks later and find yourself mindlessly coasting—you spiritual gear knocked into neutral. That’s what I mean by a Christian zombie—going through motions but making absolutely no difference in anyone’s life including yours.

I’m not talking about being a Pharisee—a hypocrite. They belong to another class of zombies for which I do not have the time, energy, desire, or word space to describe. I am talking to regular people who love Jesus, follow Jesus, but without knowing it, are aimlessly wandering around in right field in the high grass near the bleachers desperately trying to find Jesus.

Right now might be a good time to test yourself and see where you register on the zombie meter. Today is a good day for a self-evaluation—a good time to check your spiritual oil.

  1. Am I existing but not living abundantly? In other words, am I just here getting by. Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came that we might have life, and might have it abundantly. That means a life of superabundance, excessively good, over and above and life over the top. Am I living an abundant life?
  2. Am I modeling a powerless life?  Is it a life marked by religious piety—a mindless list of do’s and don’ts. A life externally shaped to look one way, but on the inside a life totally empty—a Hollywood movie set façade of powerless power. Do I hold a form of godliness, yet I have denied its power (2 Timothy 3:5a)? Am I living a powerful life?
  3. Does my daily walk require faith? Am I walking naturally or supernaturally? If the Holy Spirit decided to step out could I survive without Him? Perhaps I am walking without him—walking without any faith whatsoever? A faithless walk is a natural walk and does not require God to get by. Am I living a faith-filled life?
  4. Does my outward reputation match my inward devotion? Is there any passion or do I have it all—job, family, the right church, membership in the right organizations…? Do I look good on the outside but feel dead on the inside? Am I living a passionate life?

To sum it all up in one simple question: If Jesus had preached the gospel I’m living right now, would they have crucified him?

Escape from the Box Life (Part 2)

Religion is one of the most dangerous boxes a follower of Christ can find themselves trapped in. Barricaded in this box, we find ourselves limited by boundaries and restrictions God did not place upon us.

Religion, when defined, is nothing more than people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity and his divine involvement in their universe and human life. It is an institutionalized or personal system of belief, with the key word being system.

Religion is man-developed, man-centered, and based on man’s beliefs and opinions. It is filled with endless rules, regulations, customs, rituals, duties, and expectations, which are nothing more than ways to measure a person’s strength or ability to do something on their own. Humans created religion to measure their own accomplishments. At the heart of religion is man, not God.

Religion is an empty box void of God with two deadly extremes. On the left wall of the box is the mantra that you must work harder and harder to chase the vaporous belief that it will make you better and more worthy of God’s love. Sadly, this is like a dog chasing its tail because you can never do enough to be good enough. You can’t measure up especially when you never know what good enough really is.

On the left face of the box is inscribed the belief that if you do the rituals correctly and keep all the rules perfectly you somehow become better than all the rest. It is a false sense of superiority and a deceptive sense of possessing some kind of super-spirituality that separates you from the rest of the crowd and makes you elite—one of God’s special ones.

Neither is true. Both create bondage—the former imprisons the soul and the latter incarcerates the mind. Religion is a dead-end box—a prison cell that places your abilities or capabilities at the center of your worship rather than God.

Revelation is the only key that can release a person from religion’s box!

Lose the Label

The "ME" Label

I detest (secretly the real sentiment is hate) labels. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the turmoil of the cultural upheaval of the 1960’s and 70’s. That would be an easy default excuse to use, but then someone might want to stitch the label “rebel” in my collar and my distaste for pigeon-holing unique people in mediocre groupings gags on that like a chicken bone. No, I just like being an individual who is finally comfortable with the fit of my own unique skin.

I’m not the only one-of-a-kind wandering around on this planet—you are too. None of us are alike and yet, we are all human beings. We were created in the image and likeness of a Creator who revels in the degrees of diversity, but loves unity—just not uniformity. If you have a label sown on the nape of your neck or under your arm, blame someone other than God, because the last time he sutured anything  it was Adam’s ribcage.

Labels label. That one is obvious. You probably carry a moniker that someone other than you thought would fit you perfectly. They tend to divide us into categories and grouping that follow us all our life. Slow…Hyper…Weak…Strong…Smart…Loud…Introvert—you get what I mean. I may be slow because I process differently than others. I may be loud because I don’t feel like you hear me. I may be introverted for a time because I am not comfortable or a little uncertain of myself in this present atmosphere. There may be a sufficiently valid reason I am what I am at this very moment and that should not classify me in some arbitrary grouping. I know people who are wearing labels someone else tacked on them as children and that label is who they have become.

Labels also limit. They limit us to a fleeting success, a passing failure, a brief phase, or what someone else has chosen for us. They place a subjective ceiling on how high we can go—a fence of finality around how far we might roam. No other person living or dead has the right to limit you in the areas God has chosen to leave unlimited to you. We limit ourselves by dressing in the tyranny of restrictions that the faithless have imposed on others because they themselves have slipped comfortably into the noose of self-imposed limitations. Stamp a label on something and you automatically limit that person or product from being everything it could, would, or should have been

Ultimately, labels lessen. They leave us looking in the rear view mirror wondering what might have been. They haunt us as we get older and realize we have settled for far less than God intended. In some things less is better, but not in life. Life was meant to be lived full out and not half-way. Labels discriminate, berate, delegate, intimidate, and assassinate. But in the end, a label simply castrates our ability to step into our divine destiny.

Labels fly at us from all directions. They often seem harmless in the beginning, but can quickly bog us down or cripple us outright. Labels only stick as long as you allow them a surface to land on. As my father used to say, “Shake it off and get shed of it.” You can be Velcro for labels or you can be whatever you have the ability to dream. Lose the label and leap into life.