Friday, September 25, 2009

Popping the Christian Bubble

We recently have been discussing six stereotypes that people outside of the church have about Christians. Our series entitled, Warped Christianity: Bringing Jesus Back into Focus, is based upon the book unChristian. We’ve discussed how nonChristians perceive Christians to be hypocritical, anti-homosexual, judgmental, pushy about conversions, too political and sheltered.

This last Wednesday we chatted about how Christians are seen as sheltered. People view Christ followers as old-fashioned, traditional, and out of touch with reality. The perception is that the church is looking out into the world and running away from all of its “moral filth and evil.” In our fear we encapsulate ourselves in only what seems godly and righteous and we shun anything that doesn’t fit our high moral standards. This sheltered mentality is evident in the church’s attempts at creating “family friendly” or “safe alternatives” to social norms of our culture. Just look at Godspace or Godtube; we are running away from the things our society is creating and trying to make cheap replicas that are Christ oriented.

When I look at Jesus he wasn’t running around teaching people to take the latest social trends and copy them into more godly alternatives. He was teaching people to go and show the unconditional love of God where it needs it the most. If anything he was against people creating little “holy huddles” or “Christian bubbles.”

Examples of Jesus challenging us to break up the holy huddles:
Matthew 5:13-16
Matthew 9:9-14
Matthew 28:19-20
Acts 1:7-8

Obviously there is a balance to be made, we need solid godly friendships that can support us and challenge us in our relationship with God. I believe we all need that sort of godly network or community of fellow Christ followers. What I am against is us getting so comfortable in our exclusive Christian clubs that we neglect to go spend time with people that need Jesus the most. Jesus didn’t just spend time with people that lived righteous and holy lives. In fact he was so UNSHELTERED that the sinners and outcasts of society were drawn to him. They pursued and sought out his company, and yet Jesus didn’t make moral compromises.

So to break this stereotype of Christians being sheltered we must be committed to living lives of purity and holiness, but we also must put ourselves out there and spend time with people outside of the church. We’ve got to stop retreating from or getting defensive about everything we disagree with. Instead we must start be proactive about bringing the unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness of God in tangible ways. Instead of making Faithbook, use your Facebook account to encourage someone or reach out to someone feeling isolated. Rather than complaining about the use of foul language in your schools, start showing respect to your peers and faculty or maybe start randomly texting encouragements to your friends. In place of commenting on the sexual promiscuity of our culture, take a stand and keep your thoughts, words and actions sexually pure or try to raise money and awareness about the sex slave industry running rampant in our culture.

Challenge yourself to get out of your holy huddle this week and show the love of God in a tangible way.

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