Cure for 'Mad Christian Disease'

Christianity has become extremely complicated, says one pastor and author.

While some Christians like whole milk, others prefer 2 percent and some want soy or even condensed.

"We've found ourselves catering to everybody to please them when the Gospel is not really to please people, it's to save people," says Tommy Galloway, author of newly released Cure for Common Christianity.

The "milk" that Galloway is referring to is the Word of God. Furthermore, the milk is just the Gospel in its simplest form. Yet he finds that churches have complicated the message, trying to turn a not-so-pretty message of blood and sacrifice into a pretty sermon.

Today, many churches are giving out messages in a "Have it your way" Burger King-fashion.

"Because of our fast-food faith, never have we had so much food and so little fire," Galloway writes in his new book. "We have microwave messages, economy meal values, and burger believers who want it their way."

"We've made our pastors become chefs instead of shepherds," he says. "People want to come in and order what they want from the pulpit."

Galloway has decided to diagnose this as the "Mad Christian Disease." The author describes the progression of the disease, in three stages: people are affected, infected, and then become ineffective, essentially becoming common.

Christians have strayed from their purpose and allowed the worldly system to get into their mind, he says. A possible result is depression even among Christians.

"People have got to understand that depression is real," says Galloway, who was once diagnosed with depression during his years as a preacher. "There are Christians that are depressed."

Currently, antidepressants are the most prescribed drug in the United States.

"I felt like my religion had me locked in four walls and God was calling me to get out of those four walls," he recounts. "A lot of Christians get locked in where they are because they don't know how to go farther [in their faith]."

One person who commented on an article regarding Galloway's book said one would have to be an idiot to believe in Christianity. That person indicated he once was a Christian but found nothing that satisfied him. No wonder they're looking for a cure for common Christianity, he wrote, because there's nothing to it.

"That shows me that he (the commenter) found nothing in religion to satisfy the deep longings of his soul," says Galloway.

But there's a cure for "mad" Christians, Galloway says. "The cross!"

Not the candy-coated cross, however.

"I really think that we have sugar-coated the Gospel and somewhat the prosperity Gospel because we want it to look so prosperous and so easy and it is easy living for the Lord, but the bottom line is Jesus said 'Take up my cross and follow,'" Galloway says.

He believes the cross is left out many times in sermons because "people want to be more amused than amazed."

"We're competing with the worldly system," the pastor says. "We want to not make people turned off by the Gospel message and therefore we don't really preach about the blood.

"People [say] 'Tell me what I need to know but make it palatable to me and make it where it tastes good."

The reality of the cross, however, is blood and sacrifice and Galloway believes the world is hungry to hear that plain and simple. The cross cost Jesus everything, the author stresses.

Galloway, who is senior pastor of Word of Life Church in Tupelo, Miss., plans to release a second book titled "Posterity: The New Prosperity" within the next year.