For those of you who don’t know what a “Buffet Christian” is, it’s a derogatory term employed by Fundagelicals to delegitimize other Christians who have different beliefs that Fundagelicals.
The basic idea is that so-called “Buffet Christians” treat the Bible and Christian faith like a buffet. They fill their plates (or belief system) with just the things they like (General Tso’s chicken or loving others) and skip the things they don’t like. (Broccoli or confronting sin)
What Fundagelicals don’t realize is that everyone is a buffet Christian. We all pick and choose what we believe. We all have favorite things in the buffet table of ideas, and we skip ideas that are distasteful to us.
Fundagelicals love to fill their plates with authority, judgment, eternal conscious torment in hell, and the rapture. They skip things like facts. Too distasteful!
If we are to move away from being a buffet Christian, we need to approach our faith like we would approach a balanced, healthy meal. A healthy meal will produce well-being for our body. What we chose for our faith should nurture our spiritual well-being.
Common sense is a great tool for knowing what is good for our body. I mean we all know that a bacon western double cheeseburger tastes good but isn’t good for us; in the same way, we should know that obsessing about someone else’s sins is bad for our spiritual well-being. (Matt. 7:1-3)
Science, like good scripture interpretation, can guide us in what is good for the body and soul. Science follows rules and procedures to produce verifiable and reproducible results that add to our knowledge. Exegesis, the rule-based process of determining what scripture means, should also produce results that can be verified and reproduced by other scholars.
Unfortunately for us, too many pastors prefer to follow the junk food method of exegesis known as “proof-texting.” They simply lift a scripture from context to prove their point.
We can, of course, move beyond the picking and choosing at the buffet line by simply following a steady diet of Jesus. The imitation of Christ is the most soul-nurturing food there is. “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.'” (John 4:23) What are God’s will and His work? It is to reconcile all humanity to Himself. So, I suggest heavy intake of reconciliation for a healthy soul. Chew on that.
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