Coronary Christians or Adrenal Christians

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  • In the preface to The Roots of Endurance, a collection of biographical sketches on the invincible perseverance in the lives John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce, John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and featured teacher of Desiring God Ministries, writes:

    As I write this Preface I have just preached to my people several messages in which I pleaded with them to be “coronary Christians,” not “adrenal Christians.” Not that adrenaline is bad, I said; it gets me through lots of Sundays. But it lets you down on Mondays. The heart is another kind of friend. It just keeps on serving – very quietly, through good days and bad days, happy and sad, high and low, appreciated and unappreciated. It never says, “I don’t like your attitude, Piper, I’m taking a day off.” It just keeps humbly lub-dubbing along. It endures the way adrenaline doesn’t.

    Coronary Christians are like the heart in the causes they serve. Adrenaline Christians are line adrenaline – a spurt of energy and then fatigue. What we need in the cause of social justice (for example, against racism and abortion), and the cause of world missions (t0 plant churches among the unreached peoples of the world), and the cause of personal holiness and evangelism (to lead people to Christ and love them no matter what) is not spurts of energy, but people who endure for the long haul. Marathoners, not sprinters. (pp. 11-12)

    Which are you? Are you a coronary Christian? Or an adrenaline Christian? 


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.