What does casual mean? Yes, this word does have an objective definition. However, it seems that this word also has a subjective application per diverse peoples and cultures. In other words, how people perceive it is relative to ones opinions and culture, much like the words “moderation”, “warm”, “appropriate” or “a lot”. It’s relative to individuals.
Is it that important?
In the past I have heard some suggest that we Christians should not be “causal” (culturally) because this leads to “casual Christianity” (I don’t know the definition for this phrase). While this may be true and I may be missing something, I however know of no evidence for this slippery slope argument. As noted, each culture and peoples in time may define casual differently. So primae facia, I see no connection.
This argument seems to be fallacious because the Bible never talks about cultural casualness, even in principle. I have heard said that “casualness” is a salvation issue. My simple question is this, where in the Scriptures does it say this? If it was supposed to be there, God must have forgot to tell us.
What the Bible teaches
However, Scriptures do speak against ungodliness, carnality and immorality and teaches that we should be modest, up-right, pure, righteous, and obedient to his commands. In the place of “we should not be causal”, wouldn’t a more biblical and less vague term be better, such as righteous or godliness? The Bible does teach modesty, cleanness and order. But these attributes can be fulfilled either in a “casual” or “professional” setting.
Think of it this way, what is the antonym of casual? Well probably professional or formal. Do we want to be professional Christians? How about a formal Christian? These combinations don’t even make sense. Is being professional lead to a more holy life? Think about elite businesses, parties or dances and you will see many who are very professional, but very ungodly as well. Many of these activities may be done in a casual atmospheres as well, but that’s my point, it gets one no place.
Let’s look at some other antonyms, what is the opposite of godly? Ungodly. How about the opposite of obedience to God? Disobedience to God. What about the spiritual, eternal and heavenly? Maybe a word like carnal would work.
As followers of Christ we should be shunning and fighting ungodliness and unrighteousness. We are to be godly and follow Christ’s teachings. However, we need accuracy, truthfulness, and honesty in our language, otherwise we come to strange conclusions.