… casual vs. captive …

“George Barna in The Seven Faith Tribes: Who They Are, What They Believe, and Why They Matter

Casual Christianity is faith in moderation. This particular tribe is comprised of significant proportions of minimally active born again Christians and moderately active but theologically nominal Christians. It allows them to feel religious without having to prioritize their faith. It fulfills their inner need to have some type of connection with a deity, and provides the image of being a decent, faith-friendly person. Christianity is a low-risk, predictable proposition for this tribe, providing a faith perspective that is not demanding. A Casual Christian can be all the things that they esteem: a nice human being, a family person, religious, an exemplary citizen, a reliable employee – and never have to publicly defend or represent difficult moral or social positions or even lose much sleep over their private choices as long as they mean well and generally do their best. Casual Christianity, because of its moral receptivity and pliability, generally eliminates spiritual backbone from moral discussions.  To them, Casual Christianity is the best of all worlds; it encourages them to be a better person than if they had been irreligious, yet it is not a faith into which they feel compelled to heavily invest themselves.

The lives of Captive Christians are defined by their faith; their worldview is built around their core spiritual beliefs and resultant values. Casual Christians are defined by the desire to please God, family, and other people while extracting as much enjoyment and comfort from the world as possible. The big difference between these two tribes is how they define a successful life. For Captives, success is obedience to God, as demonstrated by consistently serving Christ and carrying out His commands and principles. For Casuals, success is balancing everything just right so that they are able to maximize their opportunities and joys in life without undermining their perceived relationship with God and others. Stated differently, Casuals are about moderation in all things while Captives are about extreme devotion to their God regardless of the worldly consequences.”

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