The last of the skim milk containers were almost empty when I visited our local coffee shop. It has been reported that more people are using the less fattening milk than ever before. The attendant told the person in front of me, “We just can’t keep skim milk in stock.” Reluctantly the patron said, “Okay, I’ll take the 2%.”
Call it culturally cache, but less is more popular than whole. Milk, bread, cheese, beer, yogurt, and yes, doctrine all fall into that cauldron of less. In fact, it could be said that the Believers Lite Club is the fastest growing segment of Christianity in America today. People want less than ever before. Even the Catholics have reduced the number of miracles a person must have in death in order to become a Saint or “sainted.” It’s down from 3 to 2.
This is not to say that people don’t want to taste the Lord, they just don’t want all that heaviness that fills them up. You know, the heaviness of consecration, vows, tears, burdens for the lost, intercession, fasting, daily Bible reading, etc. They want the Prayer of Jabez and Your Best Life Now. They want quick fixes and instant resolution to life long struggles. They want absolution from self-imposed conflicts so as not to deal with the guilt of their sinful choices. Most of all, they don’t ever want to hear a rebuke or correction from the pulpit. Goodness, that’s like heavy cream laden with fat.
Skimmers like the songs that talk about having a relationship with Jesus and how He makes them feel. Lyrically they are enamored with His provisions and power which tend to be on the safe side of the song list. Yet try to sing “I Surrender All” or “I will give you all” and they clam up. Likewise they tend to steer away from their own ineptitude. Who needs all that butter when Margarine has all the taste with none of the commitments, uh I mean, calories. Sure David called himself a worm and wretched, but that’s so Old Testament.
Regarding inappropriate clothing; social drinking, curse words, white lies, a few grudges here and there, illicit movies with sexual scenes or overtones… Lite Christians aren’t really that bothered by these minor infractions. Whose counting anyway? To them gossip is normal conversation and accountability is seen as an intrusion into privacy. Speaking of which, Skimmers espouse the “private life” theory. They see it as their Church life versus their Private life.
Church attendance is a box to check for this growing group of lessers. They love the Lord, but not with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. They’ll argue that God is not judgmental (as if He’s not the Judge). They’ll tell you that God is love and that they are doing enough to get to Heaven. Besides, they’re not as bad as other people in the world and then comes the comparisons.
Skim milk is in high demand for this generation of “deep thinkers” who believe that: Stepping out by faith to give an extra offering is financially foolish:
Faith is a mystical method to entrap the weak minded:
Obedience to a pastor (a man) is obviously dangerous:
Demonstrative worship is reserved for a select group of personalities:
And of course, Convenience is the ultimate filter for every decision.
Few reach for 2% and no one touches that radical idea of Whole milk. Whole is for those crazy, religious fanatics who spend all their time reading the scripture and praying at the altar. Whole is for over-the-top Bible thumpers who don’t know how to have fun. Besides, why endure a whole sermon when we can just get the Cliff Notes later? Any one for a skinny au lait?
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole