Friday, December 19, 2008


A while back I read a book called 'UnChristian' which David Kinnaman provides the reader with objective and for some, shocking research about what those on the outside looking in witnessed and think about Christians.
I think it's interesting that the major theme throughout the book revealed that we have an image problem. The irony, I think is that we call ourselves Christians, yet don't act like it when we should. For instance our inability as a church to reach out to those in need seeking redemption and acceptance usually don't find it when they visit.
We are too busy building walls that keep the things we find too scary or uncomfortable to deal with outside-outside of our zone. And then we spend too much time defending the fort and have lost sight of Jesus-the cornerstone of our faith.
The lack of positive experiences from our youth and our young people impacts the divisive thoughts they have and even re-enforces theirs perceptions. We say we 'claim the name,' but a line ourselves with what's comfortable. While I know it's been used in past blogs, I can't say it enough, Jesus said 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'
The doors should be open to all and we should listen to their deep yearning for God. They may not know it, but their search is for God and according to Jesus each person is salvageable, teachable, and redeemable if only we were to listen and invest what God has already granted us in our lives-health, wealth, and the ability to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
When Jesus meets our past He doesn't dwell on what we dwell-the bleakness of our future, sure the transition is going to be struggle, but what He sees in our future-is that our past is irrelevant and it's our desire He sees and seeks.
I know not everything resonates with those on the outside looking in and that some are beyond saving, but I don't think it's not up to us to decide that-it's between that person and God whether a change can happen.
Think about it, the woman at the well...she had some knowledge of a coming Messiah and even called Him a prophet which indicates she had experiences in the religious circles of that time, but it was only after running into the Messiah that she began to see how irrelevant her past was. Since He saw through her, she ran back to tell everyone 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did'. She found freedom in it and I think that's something we all seek, even those of us who are on the inside looking out-seeking answers that may have already been given but are too hard to swallow.
Do you think we have an image problem? Do you have friends who have harsh criticisms about our God and His church? Is it organized religion that bothers them or their experiences that have left them burned and marginalized? I say take the time to listen and hear the uncomfortable words and truth they slow to anger and help mend some wounds. Know that it will take time to heal and mend this image problem we have...but know it's also worth it! After all, it's for the Kingdom of God and all His people...who are we to deny entrance to a soul seeking individual- regardless of their past, color, political affiliation, or even gender?
Have a slice of humble pie...and share it with your friends.

1 comment:

Holly said...

YEAH!!! I'm the first to comment! :) haha...anywho, I wasnt able to complete reading it, cause im out of lunch time, but i will continue as soon as i get a chance. You write amazing honey! i totally agree with, its unfortunate how sometimes the church doesnt seem so "Christian". But so far you brought up a lot of good things and i will have to read on later, but what a wonderful way to put it!