How NOT be a Vampire Christian
I’ve been intrigued by this thought, and have been talking about it with my church and students in depth over the last few months. This phrase was coined by Dallas Willard, and the 4 myths we’ve been discussing were adapted from the book “RePresent Jesus” by Dharius Daniels. (I highly recommend this book!)
A Vampire Christians is defined as someone who is only interested in the Blood of Jesus…but they don’t want any other part of Him. Daniels puts it like this…
“ They say “forgive me, but don’t tell me how to live my life.” They say “help me, be my personal assistant, give me what I want, but let me do my thing and live the way I want to live.” They are the ones that whenever God says something inconsistent with their bucket list, they want out.”
I don’t believe Christians become this way deliberately. Do some? Sure they do, some people are hard-headed. But I believe what often happens, is that we’re deceived into thinking this way because of the high amount of distractions in our lives. It’s easy to become distracted by life, family, work, technology, etc. Unfortunately what typically happens, is that we get distracted from what’s most important — God’s Word. When that happens, we are set up to be deceived, just like Eve was in the garden.
I believe Eve, became distracted from the words of God by the words of the serpent. Being distracted, caused her to be tricked. Daniels in his book writes 4 myths that Eve bought into. Here is a brief breakdown of those myths we discussed.
- The Myth of Restriction — Eve was tricked into thinking the that God was restricting her from enjoying the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The truth was, God gave here freedom to enjoy every other tree in the garden, but had set up a boundary around this tree, to protect her from the death it would cause. Often we get distracted to the point, that we can think God might be holding out on us, confining or punishing us, when in reality He’s trying to protect us. God wants good for us, and often we neglect His boundaries, because we’ve neglected understanding who God is to us.
- The Myth of Identity — Next, Eve bought into the lie that the fruit could make her like God…the thing was, she was already like God. She and Adam were made in God’s image, and could operate in the Garden with His’ authority. When tricked, she handed over control of her life. If we’re not receiving our identity, our purpose, and our call from God, we too will believe a lie as dumb as the one Eve believed. Just the same, if we stay confused about our identity, we will give control of our life to someone or something that seeks to take advantage of us. (I will explain this more in depth in a future post.)
- The Myth of Opinion — Eve’s understanding of what the fruit would do changed. God said it was deadly, Eve saw it as beautiful. Her newfound opinion was formed by her and by the serpent. When we get distracted from what God says is true, we’ll justify what we think is true with our opinion. This is why you see some espouse racism or other wrong beliefs in the name of God. Their opinion has shaped their view of God, other people and life in general, instead of letting God shape their opinion and worldview. It is a deadly thing to fall for that trick.
- The Myth of Happiness — Eve thought the fruit could make her feel and be better, when in reality she lost everything for a quick moment of pleasure. This myth makes you feel like you’re going to miss out on something if you don’t give in to it right now. The reality is, every good thing comes from God. (James 1:17) God will bless us, but it is not worth it to sacrifice our relationship with God, for something in a moment…especially if we’re not ready or able to handle it. We need to be mature, press into what God has for us, and let Him bless us as He sees fit.
The key to not falling for these tricks, is to identify distractions in our life, and go to God so he can help us with them. Jesus says in John 15 to ‘abide in Him.’ Abide means ‘not to depart.’ If we abide we’ll bear much fruit, be able to do anything with Him, ask and have the desires of our heart fulfilled and have fullness of joy. Let’s make God our priority, keep Him off the back-burner, and watch as He orders our life for the better.
“But someone will say, can’t I get into heaven when I die without any of this? Perhaps you can. God’s goodness is so great, I am sure that he will let you in if he can find any basis at all to do so. But you might consider whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of one whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of earthly existence.” — Dallas Willard