Evangelist Jay John Canon has dedicated his life to evangelizing and defending the relevance of Christianity to modern society. In his article for Christian Today, he spoke about what worries him most about Christianity today.
“I love the buffet. It is an opportunity to choose and eat what you like, and as much as you want. When I was thinking about the new and troubling mood in the Church today, the smorgasbord came to mind. This is characteristic of the following story.
We live in an era of consumption, when the human right to choose is considered indisputable, and it is not surprising that this attitude has also translated into matters of faith. The result has been “buffet” Christianity in which the believer can choose or reject what is offered as he pleases.
It is a selective approach to Scripture and Christian truth that rejects traditional beliefs, avoids harsh answers, but values ”variety and novelty.”
“Buffet Christianity” is still a mood, not a movement, but it breathes the same air of restlessness and impatience as “progressive” or “revisionist” beliefs in the world.
However, I fear this is only the beginning. It was a logical consequence of the events of the past two years, when locked-in parishioners found themselves browsing an online Christianity supermarket brimming with an enticing array of services and theologies.
Visitors to “buffet Christianity” are overwhelmed with a thirst for “delicious” – attractive, optimistic and non-judgmental. And believe me, they know what they want and they know what they don’t want.
“Buffet Christianity” has absorbed the spirit of postmodernism, where the truth of a statement lies not in what the author says, but in what the listener or reader thinks. As a result, today someone can look at the Scriptures, at what the Word of God says about sin, and mumble, “That was then, but it’s not what I see now,” and then just turn the page.
If there is an aversion to certainty, there is an assertion of doubt. Sometimes difficult passages of Scripture are passed around with the words, “I’m not sure we can know what the Bible means here.” Once people were ashamed of their doubts; now they are ashamed of their beliefs.
The “buffet” of Christianity also includes a wide range of dishes, and this makes such a “faith” popular. And when you express doubt about the truth of what is offered to you, you will be given a simple answer: “Well, you do not have to eat it.” A huge selection offends the gospel.
Why am I against “buffet Christianity”?
First, it is not true faith, the solid, time-tested evangelical ministry that has nourished me and countless Christians over the centuries.
Secondly, it is clear that such a buffet is driven by the belief that human reason should be preferred over any simple trust in God and His Word. Indeed, I must say that the mood of ” a buffet Christianity” translates into a condescending, if not derisive attitude towards those of us who choose to adhere to the “fixed menu” of orthodox traditional faith.
We are called “naive”, “simplistic” and even “fundamentalists”. But I have always dined well at the royal table and will continue to eat there.
The beauty of the traditional gospel, with its view that Christ took our place and paid our price on the cross, is so amazingly simple that any mind can understand it.
And buffet Christianity has created something so fluid and flexible that it’s hard to know what it stands for and what it opposes? In truth, it doesn’t taste good, because often it’s just a lie. In an age of uncertainty, people are looking not for doubts, but for answers.
This undermines Christian comfort. Choose-your-own-faith can be good when life is bright, but in times of trouble, we need to feed on something a little more solid.
It is time for us to recognize the problem of “buffet Christianity.” Surprisingly, in Genesis 3, the devil encourages Eve to ignore what God said and eat what she likes. We must admit that, for all its charms, a buffet of beliefs does not lead to spiritual health and strength.
Resist it. We need to carefully read our Scriptures, feeding on all the truth, whether it tastes good or not. We need to be humble and remind ourselves that while what God offers us may not be what we like, we can be sure that it is for our own good.
God calls us to His table on His terms. Let’s go and eat!”
According to Christian Today