Sunday, August 19, 2012

Those Types of Christians

I feel like I roll my eyes at Christianity a lot. Maybe sometimes it's actually more of a cringing that occurs. 

It's not often that I look at it and think, 'That's what this supposed to be like.'
I'm honestly not sure if this is because I'm overly cynical and desire perfection, or if it's because we're just missing the mark. Either way, I sometimes struggle with wanting to be a part of it--not ever because I'm ashamed to bear the name of Christ, but because I'm ashamed to associate myself with others who claim to bear His name. 

I started reading a book this summer entitled They like Jesus but not the Church, by Dan Kimball. It was actually one of those reads that I had to keep putting down because I felt so convicted and I couldn't do anything to change my current circumstances, so I chose to read sparingly. Needless to say, I'm still reading it. If you're interested in a good read that challenges the status quo, I'd recommend it. 

It's a book that reminds me of the way that Christianity is portrayed to the world. It's a book that reminds me of my calling. It's a book that moves me to go beyond my comfort zone and into a place where God desperately wants to work on my heart- a place of selflessness and urgency, a place of hope and redemption for all, a place of no judgment or fear. It's a book that reminds me that boldness is required and I can't get through life skirting the edges of the unknown without ever entering into it. 

What if their taste of Christianity is only what they see in the movies, read in the tabloids, view on facebook posts? What if they only glimpse they've ever caught are the ways things get handled in politics, the tele-evangelists late at night, the judgment and condemnation?

What if they've never met a Christian in person before?

What if they've never met a Christian before because we're too busy and our calendars are filled up with bible studies, youth groups, sunday school, church, small groups, friday night fellowship, potlucks, mission trips, camps, conferences...

What if they've never met a Christian before because we're too scared of temptation, of being led astray, of being exposed to bad things, of being seen by others who might think less of us...

What if they've never met a Christian before because we're convinced they must come to us so we never even think of going to them...

What if they've never met a Christian before because we're more concerned about our own well-being than we are theirs...?

I don't know where you spend all of your time and I don't know who you spend all of your time with. I do know that things have to change though. I do know that even beyond us merely meeting those who may not know the fullness of who Jesus Christ is, that there's a greater calling to love them and to love them well. Beyond shaking their hand, beyond saying hi to them every time you cross paths, beyond sitting next to them in class....there's a urgency to know them, and to let them know you in return. 

To know them not just because you have a quota to reach, but to know them because you truly love them. To care about them, their hearts, their lives, their day-to-day struggles and interactions. To care about them in a way they've maybe never been cared about before. To care about them in a way that places them above yourself....above your own needs, your own desires.

Can we get there?
Can we be those types of Christians?

'Cause in my head, that's what it's supposed to look like. 

I think this is what I'm most excited about as I leave this place.
Living this out.
Being real friends with people from every walk of life...being real friends with people who are different than me. Loving them, being loyal to them...and, above all, sharing Jesus with them. Not because of an agenda, but because He's of utmost important to me...and that's what friends do. Share the things in life that are important to them. 

I hope you're excited about this, too.
I hope you're already doing this.

And I guess I hope, more than anything, that our standard for Christianity is always defined by Jesus Christ and by Scripture that we would hold ourselves closely to that. 

'Cause that's the type of religion I don't roll my eyes or cringe at. That's the type of faith that is life-giving and's the type of thing I'm proud to be a part of.

There must be more than this...
and I intend to get there.

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  1. So im the kind of person that put off my own agenda and needs for others. unfortunately this got me into trouble last year. I neglected my walk completely. I don't know how to balance and when I hear things like this it gets me anxious and makes me start to feel like I should have more control- almost as if what I do or don't do affects someones eternity. God is sovereign though so how can that be? I guess I struggle with wanting to be superwoman and realizing I can't always be what people need is kind of where i am resting. So to what degree do we play in someones walk with the lord?

    1. The great part about all of this is that someone else's salvation doesn't lie upon your shoulders. It's not going to be your disobedience that makes it or breaks it for someone else...I think it's more a matter of desiring to be used by God in as many other lives as possible and then being willing to do whatever it takes. You can't (and won't) always be what other people need, and that's a humbling thing to realize.
      I'm not sure if we ever will really know the fullness of how much we play into someone's walk with the Lord, but I'm not sure it matters. I think it mostly comes down to us being obedient...and simultaneously trusting the Lord that He is sovereign and good, that He is the one who covers a multitude of sins.

  2. Your best post yet. I'm praying God gives you the strength to live this out.