The Danger of Being a Superficial Christian


It’s getting harder to talk about religion, especially in specific venues or situations, and the result is a lack of spreading the gospel and a kind of superficial Christianity. Why it’s happening and what to do about it.

Talking about Christ?

“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

–Hebrews 3:14

It’s getting harder to discuss the topic of religion in the public square. It is banned from specific venues and frowned upon even in casual settings.

There are many reasons for this, such as avoiding conflicts, but another is simply that people don’t want to hear the gospel because it stirs up feelings of shame.

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”

– Romans 14:1

Some people will take the above verse as a sign to not push people too hard on the gospel or even discuss it. Instead, they attempt to lead by example by being a good “Christian” person.

A Christian “good person?”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,”

– Titus 2:7

But being a Christian is about more than simply being a “good person.” It’s more than being nice to other people and doing good deeds for others.

We all want to think good of ourselves and believe we are good people, and “sin” is what others do. Even some Christians think this way. However, every Christian should know:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

– Romans 3:23

“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”

–Ecclesiastes 7:20

Christ calls us to do more than simply be good Christians

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

–Matthew 28:19

Biblical scholar Ellicott says this verse commands us to “teach all nations,” and “better, make disciples of all the heathen.”

Jesus commands that Christians do more than follow him. We must teach Christ and help make nonbelievers into believers.

“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:20

Avoiding superficial Christianity

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

– John 16:33

Jesus told us it would not be easy to be a Christian in this world or to preach the gospel, but that’s not an excuse to avoid doing so.

There’s a type of superficial Christianity in which one proclaims to be a believer but never discusses or teaches Christ to others.

How will Christians today follow Christ’s command when so many are reticent about discussing the gospel? They don’t want to make people uncomfortable, they don’t want to ruffle feathers, so they don’t talk about Christ. When they do that, they fail people who desperately need to hear the gospel.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”

–2 Timothy 3:16

Not only do they not discuss Christ, but some also don’t defend Christ when they should.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

–1 Peter 3:15

Defending the gospel is another way of teaching and preaching, even simply telling others why you believe and the happiness and hope your faith gives you.