By Martina Oboh
I have always been fascinated by colours and how one shade transits into another.
White becomes cream, eggshell, ivory, Navajo white, vanilla then onyx, black olive, charcoal grey, jet and eventually black.
White is, of course, the lightest possible colour and black is the darkest.
Every other colour hovers between these two extremes.
It’s the same with our Christian journey.
I call it the Principle of the Slow Fade.
Over the years, I have noticed that a lot has changed amongst us born again Christians.
Things we hitherto would not have approved of are now commonplace.
There was a time when our reaction to sin was so strong. We felt deeply remorseful and took quick steps to repent and forsake. It’s a different story today, unfortunately. The new grace gospel reassures us it’s “alright” and sin is just seen as a “slip up.”
It’s also commonplace to speak to believers who hold unique personal views about age-old spiritual truths- private interpretations of Scripture (II Peter 1:20).
The amusing thing is that these Christians cannot tell you exactly when they began to hold a different viewpoint.
The once vibrant prayer life has become a whimper. The ferocious appetite for the word of God replaced with the odd glance at the Bible.
That’s the Principle of the Slow Fade.
Telling lies is seen as “applying wisdom.” Identifying with a local church has been replaced by “anointed internet ninjas.” Keeping the flesh under with fasting and prayer is so “old school.”
It happens subtly.
Once it was white, then cream and ivory then grey, charcoal grey and black. Oh dear!
It’s always worth reevaluating our walk with the Lord (II Corinthians 13: 5) and asking ourselves where the present course of life is taking us. Are we moving towards or away from the things of God?
I live in a temperate country and we have to use radiators during the winter season. These are metal panels installed on walls in most homes so that when the central heating is turned on, these metal panels heat up. The heat they generate radiates and warms up the room- hence the name radiators.
I was in a room with some brethren having Bible study years ago. The radiators were heated, and the room nicely warmed up.
We carried on for at least an hour when suddenly I started feeling very cold. It turned out the radiators had been off for a while but were still giving off residual heat.
Exactly what time it stopped being hot we could not tell but one thing was certain – we had been fooled into thinking the radiators were on all along!
I immediately drew the analogy with our Christian walk.
People may not be able to tell we are no longer connected to the power source initially but it will eventually come to fore.
The slow fade If not nipped in the bud; becomes a monster with a life of its own.
We can manage to speak – Christianese – with all the right sounding bites. It’s a process so subtle that it only becomes apparent when it’s rather far gone.
We often wonder how some Christians have backslidden beyond recognition. It didn’t happen in one day. The slow fade kicked off and “Christian Mutants” emerged.
Unfortunately, many Christians have contracted the Slow Fade virus, but it is yet to be diagnosed. If only we would go to the Great Physician. Early.
No wonder Hebrews 3:13 advises us to keep fellowship a top priority. “But exhort one another daily, while it is still called ‘today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
To remain immune to the Slow Fade Virus, we must maintain fixed boundaries of Christian traditions and values as we received them (I Corinthians 11: 2). Firm anchors of our faith.
Otherwise, we would drift off course to the “Island of Faded Believers.”