Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 14, 2008

Goldilocks Christianity

As a follow-up to my post entitled “Living with Passion” (13 Nov 08), I offer the following related thoughts retrieved from the days when I posted my musings on a legal pad. I wrote these words in January 1991, but the message is still relevant. We will not turn our world upside down with a bland brand of Christianity. We must allow God to ignite our hearts with passion to glorify Him and to make His name famous around the planet.

• • • • •

   We all are familiar with the childhood story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Among other things, it is a story of mediocrity. Goldilocks was something of a fastidious little girl who wanted everything to be just to her likes — to be just right for her. She didn’t want porridge that was too hot or too cold. She didn’t want to sit on a chair that was too big or too small. She didn’t want to sleep on a bed that was too hard or too soft. Goldilocks found comfort in everything between extremes, which is exactly how many people like their commitment to God. Mediocrity is a word that describes many 20th century Christians. Webster defines the word mediocre as meaning: “of middle quality, neither very good nor very bad; ordinary; commonplace; average.” Goldilocks Christianity can best be described as mediocre Christianity, or Christianity that is bland, blah, and bad. Why then, do so many believers choose to live mediocre Christian lives? Here are three reasons.

   First, many people find the cost of Goldilocks Christianity to be just right. It is not too low and not too high. Goldilocks Christianity does not make too many demands. It does not want to upset things or get things out of balance. It does not want to risk turning people off by asking too much. It asks just enough to make people feel good. Most people can work Goldilocks Christianity into their budgets and calendars. It gives people enough of a sense of God to make them feel good but not so much that they feel convicted about the shortcomings and compromises in their lives. It does not ask so much that people take offense or so little that people feel insulted.

   Second, many people find the comfort of Goldilocks Christianity to be just right. Goldilocks Christianity is comfortable. It allows one to claim membership in the church as one would claim membership in a fitness club or perhaps a prestigious Country Club. It is easy Christianity. It is Christianity by name more than by deed, by confession more than by expression. It is an anemic and passionless Christianity that does not appreciate being held accountable for being and doing less than. It is a dull Christianity that does not make men thirst for God and does not pierce the darkness. It is a Christianity that does not tolerate prodding and pushing but prefers to move at its own pace. It is a Christianity void of earnestness and intensity. It is a powerless Christianity.

   Third, many people find the commitment of Goldilocks Christianity to be just right. Goldilocks Christianity is fueled by lower-shelf commitment. It is powered by a commitment that is within reach but that does not require one to strain in order to grasp. It is characterized by a just-enough kind of commitment that makes no unsettling demands and stops short of being painful. It produces no martyrs, inspires no great deeds, and leaves no memorable legacy.


  1. WHOOOOAAA!!! Pretty Intense! Thanks for the challenge of thinking and action! Thanks also for “DOING” and not just “SAYING”…….Your life is a great example.

  2. Zing! Ouch!

  3. Amen

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