Exploring What It Means To Be A Carnal Christian

Christians Can Be Carnal

There are many cultural differences found throughout the US (as described in a blog post you can read by clicking here).  I grew up in California and have lived in the Midwest for the past 23 years. One difference I have observed is people’s willingness to admit their shortcomings. Let me explain.

I teach a community outreach seminar called “Creating A Healthy Family – Breaking The Dysfunctional Cycle.” It’s a free seminar held in churches as an outreach to communities. It’s designed to help people deal with unhealthy family background issues to build healthy families. We’ve taught dozens of these seminars in California with thousands of people in attendance. I ran into a problem when I tried to scheduled the seminar in a church in Illinois. They wanted the seminar but only if we changed the name. They said they would have trouble attracting people to it because the name of the seminar implied those attending didn’t have healthy families.

unhealthy or carnal

It was an interesting and correct observation for the Midwest. In California people don’t share that same concern. We changed the name (it was so memorable I don’t remember what we changed it to). The content was the same. We dealt with the same issues. We had over a hundred people attend. It was a great event.

Some of us have difficulty in seeing ourselves in a negative light or thinking others see us in a negative light.

So how would you like it if you got a letter that said this,

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1 NKJV

Observations On Being Carnal

  • Brethren, that is Christians, can be carnal.
  • Carnal is in contrast to spiritual.
  • One can observe whether a person is spiritual or carnal.
  • The people he wrote to were carnal.
  • Carnal is like an infant, a baby in Christ.
  • Being carnal isn’t a good thing.

Do you understand what the Bible means by carnal or “fleshly” in some translations? Do you think this was just a problem for the Corinthians? Do you know today if you are carnal or spiritual? We’ll explore this more in the next post but I’d like to hear from you. What do you think the Bible means by carnal?