John Stott on Comfortable Christianity

The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers [Luke 14:25-30] — the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so-called ‘nominal Christianity.’ In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience.

~ John Stott (Basic Christianity)

If our Christianity does not make us uncomfortable, if it does not disrupt or disturb us, if it leaves us where we are, then I’m afraid our Christianity is not Christ’s Christianity. We’ve fashioned a Jesus after our own image. And any Jesus, other than the Biblical Jesus, is not the saving Jesus.

“Take up your cross,” he said, i.e., “Following me means dying to yourself.”