Summary: Chameleanity is Chameleon Christianity, the art of blending in with the world in order to avoid detection, persecution and ridicule. This is a message about Christians coming out of the closet and living our faith in the open.
Introduction: In one of Aesops fables he tells of the Miller, his Son, and his donkey. The two of them were riding their donkey to a nearby fair to sell him. They hadn't got very far when they met with a group of women that were chatting around a well, they began laughing “look there,” “did you ever see such a thing? They are walking don't they realize they could ride the donkey.” The Miller was embarassed so he put his Son on the donkey and went down the road when they came across a group of old men, one of them said “That just proves how the youth don't respect the elderly” So the Miller got on the donkey and let his son walk, after a little while they heard some jeering coming from some women and children “Why, you lazy old goat, how can you ride the donkey when a little boy can barely keep up.” Then they both got on the donkey and as they were coming into town a man asked “is that your donkey?” The Miller said “Yes” then the man said “I wouldn't have guessed it by how mean you are to it by loading it down with all your weight. You two fellows are better off carrying him than the poor donkey carrying you.” “Anything to please you,” the Miller said and they tied the donkey to a stick and began carrying him into town over their shoulders. Everyone in town was laughing at the sight and the donkey became startled and broke loose tumbling off the pole and into the river. He went home convinced that trying to please everyone pleases no one. You can't please everyone, no matter how hard you try. Like politicians, Chameleon Christians try to please all sides and end up pleasing no one, because they don't stand for anything more than having a favorable position.
I find it fascinating how Gods' own creation teaches us lessons, we learn a lesson of industry from an ant in Proverbs, We learn the insidiousness of the devil as a roaring lion in I Peter, We also learn a lesson of Gods provision from a sparrow in 3 of the 4 gospels. We see the importance of God's word through seeds in Mark and Luke. We see different lessons from nature and in case you didn't figure it out, Chameleanity is Chameleon Christianity, this is the art of blending in with your surroundings so as to remain undetected. I've read that it is a common misconception that Chameleons always do this to match their environment, but it is undeniable that they will blend in with their environment in order to protect themselves and evade predators. In fact there is a certain chameleon named the 'Smith's Dwarf Chameleon' that not only adjusts its colors for camouflage but adjusts its colors in accordance with the vision of the specific predator like a bird or a snake that is hunting it. And from this we have another lesson to learn today, just like this certain species of chameleon, there is a certain species of Christian that will adjust their colors based upon the views of those outside the church, in order to avoid ridicule.
The Smith's Dwarf Chameleon is an endangered species, I wish I could say the same for this species of Christian. But its no surprise that this type of Christianity is not merely surviving but thriving in the world. Charles Spurgeon said “That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.” If an unrepentant and sinful world continues to flock to a church and yet remains unchanged unmoved, and unsaved something is wrong with that church.
Transition: I want to make three points about Chameleanity this morning: The Problem of Chameleanity, The Practice of Chameleanity, and The Prevention of Chameleanity. First, ...
The Problem of Chameleanity
First, lets look at the problem with the world's perception of the Church. And before we jump into that lets ask this question: What is the purpose of having church? The name church comes from two words: Ek - “out of” and Kaleo - “to call.” We get from these two words 'Ekklesia' – “to call together” This refers to the assembly of Christians. There is the church (little c) that is the local assembly and there is the Church (capital C) that is the universal assembly. When someone says “where do you go to church?” they are asking about the local assembly you go to, but if someone says “I favor separation of Church and State” They are talking about the universal assembly.
The question we must ask ourselves today is “why go to church?” We can't convince others to go if we don't know why we go ourselves. The world may say “why do we need church, we have our own charities.” “Why do we need church, we have our own morals, we have political correctness, etc..” “Why do we need church, we have our own ways of doing good in society.”