You Might Be A Carnal Christian If…

Carnality is not a place where God wants us to live. God has called each of us to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Carnality can be defined simply as a Christian who leans towards worldliness. It is possible to be carnal and not totally backslidden. However, those who flirt with worldliness long enough usually divorce themselves from God eventually or vice versa. In years of pastoral ministry, I have often asked people to give practical snapshots or specific definitions of what carnality looks like in real life. The following is my humble attempt to answer some of those inquiries. I have tried to be honest (not unkind) with these little snapshots – thirty of them, to be exact. Don’t worry; they’re short. I regularly check my attitudes, actions, and influences for any trace of deadly carnality. So here we go!

You Might Be a Carnal Christian…

…if going to church is a low priority in your life.

…if your activities at church only involve one day a week or less.

…if you are more comfortable around sin than you are around righteousness.

…if you regularly make fun of, laugh at, or become angered by righteousness (spiritual things).

…if you have no personal spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, Bible study, Bible memorization, witnessing, and fasting.

…if you are angered by preaching that challenges, convicts, corrects, rebukes, or even slightly nudges you.

…if you dislike worshipping, and other people’s outward demonstrations of worship annoy you as well.

…if you don’t want pastoral authority or advice (you may or may not say this verbally, but you feel it inwardly).

…if you will only do things for God that others will notice and applaud.  You are unwilling to do small, menial tasks for others, your church, and God’s kingdom in general.

…if you regularly give in to temptation and get tripped up by the same sins over and over again (even after repenting).

…if you live on a steady diet of worldly music and other various forms of entertainment that promote, glorify, and justify sinful activities.

…if you will not listen to godly advice even from close family and friends.

…if God is not the priority in your life.

…if you withhold your tithes (10% of your income) from God, do not give offerings (any amount given to God in love), or rarely give sacrificially (giving until it hurts).

…if you don’t think you have any room for improvement or spiritual progress.

…if you regularly participate in gossip, backbiting, and contribute to arguments and strife.

…if you look for controversies and ways to bring divisions rather than seeking peace and unity with all men.

…if you are regularly filled with envy, rage, jealousy, pride, arrogance, or any other emotion that does not reflect the fruit of the Spirit.

…if you put yourself first rather than others.

…if you can’t remember the last time you repented to God or another individual for wrongdoing.

…if humility is a word that makes you uncomfortable.

…if you are secretly dishonest but would like for people to view you as trustworthy.

…if you regularly lie, but you think it’s ok because you don’t get caught.

…if you are constantly looking for loopholes in God’s Word instead of surrendering to its authority.

…if you get more excited over a football game (or you can fill in the blank with your favorite distraction), then you do the goodness of God.

…if you can’t remember the last time you talked about God outside of a church function.

…if you regularly let your mind dwell on lustful, immoral, wicked, and evil things, but you think it’s ok because you haven’t acted on them.

…if you have no respect for godly elders or opinions other than your own.

…if you do not value those who labor in the Word (preachers, pastors, prophets, evangelists, missionaries, and teachers). You do not think they are worthy of a double portion (or any portion for that matter).

…if you have not felt the presence of God in a long, long time.

21 thoughts on “You Might Be A Carnal Christian If…

  1. spot on my friend, what’s so sad so many (can’t really call them Apostolics anymore) in our fellowship fight hard as they can against these principles they call it Legallisim & think your message & being able to tell the difference in their church members & anyone else is no longer nessasary Keep up the good work

  2. I think part of this is simply being human. Some of the most Godly people I have ever met struggle with more than one of these. It probably should be more directed toward those who are unaware, unrepentant about, or refuse to work toward bettering themselves where they spiritually lack. It would be most easy to see if this message is for you if you can look at your life recently and see no spiritual fruit.

  3. You are right Kenda. Spiritual inventory is vital for us all regardless of how weak or strong we perceive ourselves to be. I struggle with several of these at any given time. The difference between those in Scripture who remained godly is not their lack of struggles it is that they did struggle. Paul endured to the end, David wept in the night until joy finally came in the morning, Peter failed but returned, Jonah ran but realized his fault, and on and on.

  4. Wow. This is great. This is truth indeed. I have seen people like this in our own congregation. And many do not see or think that they have sinned at all. We must always listen to Jesus( Him in us). If we continue to quench the Holy Spirit and His convictions then we will not make it to the Kingdom of God. We must Listen, Obey , and Follow Jesus at all times no matter the cost In order for us to please Him and to Be like Him.

  5. […] Related articles: Right, Righteous & Self-Righteous Judgements (Knowing The Difference), Baptism In “Jesus’ Name” And The New Testament Greek, Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) – Book Review, Is Technology Killing Theology?, Paths Of Righteousness (Psalms 23:3), Why Do So Many Christians Support Same-Sex Marriage?, 7 Ways To Help Your Youth Group Backslide, You Might Be A Carnal Christian If… […]

  6. […] Rampant carnality and materialism. When a church grows carnal they just don’t have room for spiritual concerns. They’re too busy with sports and movies to care if their neighbor is going to Heaven or Hell. Financial blessings are a wonderful gift from God, but we should never squander that gift on trivial things that constantly distract us from the Kingdom of God. Churches fraught with carnality and materialism would rather talk about anything other than spiritual things. They don’t have time to be inconvenienced with revival, and they do the absolute minimum they can do for God (check out this article entitled You Might Be a Carnal Christian If…). […]

Comments are closed.