january 17, 2008
Perceptions of Christians by a Watching World
How do you do?
Recently I blogged about some folks expressing their personal frustrations about where they were on their life journey. We hit a hot button!
In his book UnChristian (what a new generation really thinks about Christianity), author David Kinnaman points out what his research has revealed: Christians are best known for what they are against:
- Too political
- Anti homosexual
- Representing a system rather than the person of Jesus Christ
I got a number of responses, a few of which I am going to pass on to you.
We may explore this dialogue for a while and hopefully reach some constructive criticism that will help us be more representative of who we are supposed to be. After all as Paul said: “You yourselves are our letter, known and read by everybody.”
The politicians are talking about change, perhaps we need to take note. On occasion politicians make valid points.
From L.A.: I find that when I just live my life as a Christian -- talking less and doing more, reaching my neighbors because God and I love them, not with an ulterior motive to try to “save them", looking for appropriate moments to share my faith, but not hounding people with “evangelism,” -- then my authenticity shatters their preconceived prejudices against Christ followers.
From D.A.: Churches who once understood and believed Jesus was the head of the church now are formulated, formatted, and plagued by a senior-pastor-personality and corporate structure that only allows four to five minutes or 2.5 songs for corporate worship (the "slam, bam thank you ma'am " approach to standing before our righteous, awesome, and loving God of the Universe who, by the way, wants to have personal and community fellowship with us.) Jesus said, "My house shall be a house of prayer." Not many of us find that happening in our local churches. The apostle Paul said, "Bring your sick before the elders and pray for them that they may be healed." Not in my church!
So, our kids are finding a way. They don't care about a church building. They meet in coffee houses and homes for Bible study. They have food, beer and wine, smoke cigarettes and pray together. It reminds me of the Jesus Movement! They actually talk to their non-believing friends about Jesus and faith, because they don't live in a cocoon. They see the heartache and pain of their friends -- gay, straight, broken lives, broken families -- all looking for the reason they exist... It's about bringing real Christianity to our children and showing them faith, love, peace and compassion. Just like Jesus shows us.
From E.P.: One area that puts us in “their face” incorrectly is the word “Pro-Life”. It puts them down as if they
were against life. So we build a wall of separation immediately, and they are “turned-off”. I like to use the word “Pro-Choice” that God is Pro-Choice, in that He allows us to chose to either serve Him or the evil one if we desire.
We need to be careful with our words when it comes to the “world” as they do not understand our “speak”.
Contact Scott Ross