Rambling thoughts about theology and ministry
Too many unsaved see Christianity as a clique that meets for self-congratulation or theological debate or purely social activity, and has little to do with the struggles of everyday life.
Far too many see Christianity this way which is why we need to be a better light to the world. selahV
A religion with a PR problem. Now THAT is something I can relate to! :)
Could it be because so many Christians try to put on their happy faces and never let the world know that they struggle with stuff, too?
Karma -I think the issue might just be the opposite of that. Many Christians (at least those in the public eye and on the news stories) are trying to pass themselves off as a struggling, persecuted religion even though they are the majority. They aren't happy with what they have, and are constantly fighting to win more priviledge for Christianity - social, legal and political. They come across with the attitude that Christianity is entitled to this special treatment, while wiping thier feet on the backs of people of other faiths that they either don't consider as real religions or, more commonly, are just plain wrong.
Joe, Overall, I don't disagree with what you are saying because it is amazing how in one breath many Christians can proclaim that "we are the poor, bedraggled, persecuted group" yet in the next breath claim "we are the moral majority." I have seen/read this metamorphosis numerous times.Karma's comment actually fits more so the context of the book I'm in the midst of right now. We (Christians) sometimes do have plastic faces and somehow have to communicate to everybody that "we've got it together" when in reality we don't. Church often perpetuates this "slide" from reality. Rarely do the services we attend have any practical value in how to live life out, be kind to one another, love one another, treat those who believe differently with dignity and respect, and so on. Our lives become so compartmentalized that our faith has very little practical value when in fact, the Bible teaches us to live out our faith yet we do a poor job of discipling one another to do this and why the unsaved see Christianity as irrelevant. Hence the pertinence of the quotation!
joeg -- I don't completely disagree, because so many times I see Christians talking about being "persecuted" when in fact they have set themselves up by being downright obnoxious. I am more referring to those Christians who would never ever openly admit that they sin, lust, fall down, doubt, or anything. We know they do, but they would never admit it. The "dirty" person, then, wants nothing to do with the inside of a church because it looks so clean. I'm not advocating hanging your dirty laundry for all to see (please, no, thank you just the same), but I do think it is time that Christians started being honest with themselves, and those around them.
Tony, it seems the balance we need to project is that while we have a mighty Savior and serve a mighty God, we are mighty weak without Him and lost if not for His grace. There are many in the world who think the greatest persecution we face is folks not wishing us Merry Christmas at Wal-Mart. And we make such a big tadoo about that without the love of Christ in our responses, that folks don't like the Jesus Whose birthday we are celebrating. Just one little bitty example. selahV
Selah,I agree. A good wave of persecution upon the American church might be just what the Great Physician ordered to wake us from our "dogmatic slumbers". American Christians (me included) do not know what genuine persecution is. I have never been beaten for my faith or even ridiculed. When I think of a man like Watchman Nee, with his arm broken, twisted up behind his back, screaming in agony refusing to recant of his faith, then thrown in a dank, wet, nasty, dungeon cell without even the slightest hope of medical assistance, well, my faith is pretty pathetic.Then he led someone to Christ just after that. Merry Christmas at Wal-Mart is nothing.
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