Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

#175 The word “faith-walk”

posted by Stephanie Drury


Christian culture is the only demographic to employ the term faith-walk. Christians of the non-evangelical stripe can infer what faith-walk means when they hear it, but the word is not in their vernacular. Only evangelicals use this one.

When Christian culture says faith-walk they are referring to a period of time that began when someone placed their faith in Jesus. All time henceforth is their walk…their faith-walk, rather, if you will, even.

When someone’s faith-walk is “tested” or their faith falters, Christian culture takes a dim view. Christian culture doesn’t feel that times of trial and disbelief can be a good or necessary part of someone’s overall faith-walk. They feel instead that in such struggles God is made sad. And if someone claims to abandon their faith altogether, Christian culture considers this to be a great tragedy. They don’t tend to look at the whole picture or remember that the story isn’t yet over. Rocky spots in a faith-walk are considered to be an unfortunate hiatus, like a mysterious gap in a résumé or the missing 18 ½ minutes in the Watergate tapes. Even though the Scriptures say that God would have us be hot or cold instead of lukewarm, Christian culture insists that lukewarm is better than cold.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 4:05 pm

See also: “Walk with the Lord”, or “your Walk”. Or at least that’s the ones that were thrown around my 4^2 church in the PNW. Usually followed by overly intrusive questions about school, martial status, health status, or any or all of the above.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm

This is one of the phrases that really rubbed me the wrong way before I became a Christian. I still feel that way now. Maybe that is because the term seems rather cliched. Also, I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the Christian culture thinking that struggles and doubts should not be a part of the experience. Thank you for the post, Stephanie.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I left Jesus behind almost 20 years ago. Never again will I hold the hand of Jesus, I’ll never walk again in his footsteps. Jesus will never carry me in the sand through those rough spots. Sometimes, there is no hiatus, mystery gap, or missing time. Sometimes, a person looks around and realizes the Lord was never there to begin with. It’s not a matter of faltering faith, it’s a matter of coming to the truth and not looking back. I walk alone and I’m proud of it.

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stephanie drury

posted July 31, 2010 at 5:49 pm

It’s so interesting to me how atheists are so absolutist. I don’t understand it right now. Maybe someday I will. See how unabsolutist I am? haha

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posted July 31, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I love your response to Charity. :) I am also an absolutist atheist. I see it this way. I am happy to change my mind about something if new information is presented and it becomes clear that my view is wrong. I have been told by many that this will happen on judgment day. And, surely, if that is true I will be sad. And damned. But for now I believe there is no god. And I would need a peer reviewed, double blind study proving other wise to see it differently. I don’t think that is going to happen. But I guess you never know.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I had always chalked up the whole “faith-walk” thing to just another Christianese term. It wasn’t something I paid much notice to until someone asked me one day “So, how is your walk with the Lord going?”. I thought it was kind of funny because I was relatively new to Christian Culture and was taken aback by the strange intrusiveness of it all. Also, I didn’t consider the person asking to be all that spiritually evolved, which made the whole episode that more amusing.
Since I’ve left Christian Culture, I’m sure that person is shaking her head at how I’ve backslidden off the map.
In any case, I’m more of a follower of Jesus now than any other time in my life, so my “walk” is just fine thank you. Probably couldn’t convince her though.
I guess one positive thing about the “faith-walk” is that it encourages a personal relationship with Jesus. Not all forms of Christianity do that.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Another similar phrase (which might not be exclusive to Evangelicals) is “prayer life.” I was unaware that my time praying was actually a life separate than the one I am currently living. I just assumed that I simply pray in this life.

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stephanie drury

posted July 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Lee, totally. That was one of the first things I posted about, the casual asking of “how’s your walk with God?”

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posted July 31, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Just read the post you linked Stephanie – lol. I especially liked “the last part” and I am so grateful it did not come up in conversation else I would have run, not walked, out of Christian Culture ! :)
Perhaps she was trying to fashion herself as my spiritual mentor which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it was definitely something I didn’t ask for. I just wanted her to be my friend and be real with me but that never really happened. Oh well.
reCaptcha: worn occasions.
Oh dear! :)

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posted July 31, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I love reading your blog! I refresh the page like every two days to see if you’ve written something new. I wanted to just make a quick correction – your word, résumé. A lot of people think that since “résumé” comes from French, they should write it with the accents, but in French, résumé does not mean what we Americans mean by “resume,” they use the British curriculum vitae, or CV. Résumé means a summary of things. So in attempt to be correct, speakers of American English are actually not saying the word they’re trying to say correctly. Just thought I’d give you a heads up :)

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stephanie drury

posted August 1, 2010 at 12:18 am

Oh weird. Thanks Brian. Yeah, I just copied and pasted it from wikipedia to avoid this sort of correction. Oh well! :)

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posted August 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Sometimes I wish my “walk” with God was a walk, but I have to confess it’s more like a lurch becoming a drooling crawl.

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Rocky Presley

posted August 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I have to say that this is one of my favorite posts so far. Gaps. I have some gaps, and those gaps have always been good ones. This speaks to a very important moment in the lives of so many believers where they reach an impasse, and rather than finding a family that will surround them no matter the outcome, they get a fellowship that will prescribe a treatment. Dude, you aren’t really a doctor.
The absolutism of atheism? Isn’t it interesting that people so often become that in which they had hoped to abandon. In an attempt to escape the absolute, harsh, and impenetrable realities of Christian culture, they cling to another absolute that is equally as harsh and impenetrable. It is a disservice to ourselves to land in a position of defense, especially when no one is really attacking, but merely disagreeing with the things that are important to us. Christian culture is the poster child for this type of thinking, but really any religion is I guess, whether that is politics, Christianity, atheism, being a Yankees fan, or whatever we add to our lives to give it better meaning, purpose, and/or perspective.

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Still Breathing

posted August 2, 2010 at 7:10 am

My worry with the ‘faith walk’ (and I hear it here in the UK) is that it becomes a treadmill of constant activity instead of spiritual reflection. In physical terms you can’t walk constantly but you need times of rest and recuperation before starting out again. Spiritually it is the same – you need times of quiet and little activity if you are going to move on in a meaningful way.
Captcha = cervixes uncertianty – what is that about!

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posted August 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

On the tangent of atheists and atheism the cartoon below made me snort my coffee this morning. As a practicing Catholic married to an Atheist this sort of thing comes up a lot ;)

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posted August 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

I generally love this blog, but a Christian calling Atheists absolutist? Unfounded, and pot/kettle all in one.

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stephanie drury

posted August 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

I’m glad you brought that up, Andy. This is an area where the popular view of Christianity is totally muddled with Christian culture. Christian culture is absolutist, definitely. My stance on Christianity is different from Christian culture’s (obvs) where I believe that true Christianity involves faith, not Christian culture’s “I know this beyond the shadow of a doubt” thing. I can never claim to know anything in the spiritual realm beyond the shadow of a doubt.

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Rollo Tomassi

posted August 2, 2010 at 11:31 am

“, a mysterious gap in a résumé or the missing 18 ½ minutes in the Watergate tapes”
For the win.

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Joel Bradshaw

posted August 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

You know, I remember reading that lukewarm verse back in the day, before I really looked my faith in the eyes and realized it wasn’t there. And it was scary, because even then I knew I was totally lukewarm.
But I haven’t thought about it since then, I don’t think, and I had mostly forgotten about that. I’ll have to remember that, and bring it up when appropriate.

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Rocky Presley

posted August 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Andy, I echo Stephanie’s comment, and thank you for bringing that up. You are right. It is the pot calling the kettle black, but I am not sure about the unfounded nature about it, but that is only due to my experience with the belligerency of many atheist, not all, but I think that this is true of Christian culture as well. Not all believers are absolutists, just as Stephanie states. If you refer to Gaypet’s comment, the writer stated that he/she are an absolute atheist, so while Gaypet may not be the rule, I don’t believe that he/she is an exception either.

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posted August 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm

My favorite thing EVER is being referred to as he/she. YES! ^_^
I am belligerent. I was a belligerent Christian. And I am a belligerent Atheist. It is a character issue. Regardless of my beliefs.
My point was that I believe in science. The difference in my views now and my views when I had a “faith walk” is that I don’t try to fit the facts of science into my world view. My world view fits into the facts. I don’t mind if the scientific community comes up with a new theory. That is exciting. I don’t feel the need to make science fit into an antiquated world view.
If someone told you that you were being absolutest because you don’t believe in Santa how would you react? I can not prove that there is no Santa. But I am pretty sure that he doesn’t come to my house because he is made up. *me being belligerent*

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posted August 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

My friend stopped going to church. During such a time he was working the register at Starbucks on a Sunday morning when his old youth pastor walked in for a coffee. While taking the pastor’s order and ringing him up, his pastor said blankly, “James, how is your walk with the Lord?”…..
My friend found it tacky that this guy seemed to assume some right to asking such a personal question…over a coffee counter! he thought, “how’s sex with your wife? huh? what’s more personal?!”

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posted August 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I must say that, as much as asking someone about their “walk with the Lord” can be troubling, I would have preferred that to the guy who asked me “How deeply do you know Jesus?”.
The former is a more open question, and you might be able to get away with “Just fine thank you. How is yours?”. With the latter I was left with the strong sense that there was a right answer to that when, so far as I know, there isn’t one. This guy then took it upon himself to try to convert me every Sunday at the church I attended. Apparently I wasn’t Christian enough.
Sometimes Christian culture drives me bonkers…which is why I like this blog.

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posted August 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

@ Gaypet: Hah! Love your comments on this post. (I’m kinda belligerent/stubborn myself.)
@ Sarah: “How deeply do you know Jesus?” = run away run away run away!!! I’ve never heard that one, and think it’s downright creepy.
capcha: unrests is

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posted September 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Hi all, I found these posts really interesting. It sounds like a lot of you have met people who have got caught up in Christian culture and lame Christian terminologies that perhaps make them think that they are being a “better christian” and have missed what it really means to be a Christian.
The most destructive people to Christianity are the Christians themselves. I believe Gandhi said he would probably be a Christian if it wasnt for the christians. People went to Jesus and felt loved, where as these days people are put off church because they feel judged….I often ask Christians where did the church go wrong?! They need to stop acting perfect and be real!

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posted July 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

nice,I will never understand how 1 could not believe in GOD,or ever ponder the Idea.Dr.Hugh ross wrote a book “us and the universe” great book.As far as God(J.C) I can see why people these days do not believe!You go in churchs,hear the same thing that, jesus died for your sins & right after, the preacher passes the collection plate. Thirteen years ago in a study group(40’s-50s)was coming up with solutions to a study and I was saying in my mind “hey these people are guessing what the translated KJV bible is saying” so me being who I AM . I did the same “guessed”after I finished,A SA lady stood up and said “we are not to guess at what GOD says, When we die it will all be explained to us” and imediatly I thought”You telling me that the GOD that created me didn’t leave me here with no better instuctions than this and to top it off with the village Idiots.For 2 years I searched and finally, It was revealed to me.He left us perfect instructions,but how will you learn with out a teacher?man doesnt make preachers or teachers that have diplomas to say they are preachers and teachers.In hebrew they are 8 different kinds of Knowledge,the 2 I talk about is carnal knowledge taught by men and Godly knowledge that can only b taught by GOD. In this dispensation, godly knowledge can only be received thru jesus christ,and it can only be received out of THE Living Word. I would like you to know that the KJV has been translated from hebrew, greek, and aramaic,THESE are the up right truths.IT is a beautiful story from the begginning to the end! understand the story understand What jesus has really done for,yeap YOU tell me of the true manifold wisdom of god,The mytery,& remember what he did after he died on the cross is just as important as important as the cross.I MICHAEL LOVE JESUS.

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