American Christianity has a perception problem. My eyes were really opened to this when I read the book UnChristian. It tells how the younger generation really views the church. In the eyes of the world, Christians have become known more for what we are against, instead of the Christ we are supposed to follow. I’ll be honest, I was discouraged and frustrated by the recent healthcare vote. I know the current system needs an overhaul. I’ve experienced the frustration of trying to get insurance when you have a pre-existing condition. But this legislation was pushed through against the will of the people without being fully explained and without the input of both parties. But as a follower of Christ, I am not going to resort to name calling and over-exaggeration to get my point across.
I don’t talk much about politics here on the blog, but I am concerned with the reaction from Christians to our current President and Congress. Proverbs 16:33 tells us that God is still in control. He is still on the throne and ultimately we will all answer to Him. The world is not going to end because of a vote in Congress. What this country needs is not a political revival, but a Spiritual revival. We are not going to see a change in Washington by complaining and telling everyone how upset we are. Instead, let’s change this world by sharing the message of the Gospel of Christ. Christians should definitely be involved in the political process. I’m not saying that we ignore the problems. But when people reject the Gospel, not because of the message of the cross, but because of our anger and activism, we have lost our way. I have shared in church that we are called to do more than vote our values, we are called to live them out. Criticize by creating and getting involved in the process.
Let me challenge you to be known by your love, by your truthfulness, and by your passion. May we be known for Jesus Christ instead of the things we are against.
Here is a video introduction to the book UnChristian. It’s a research book that shows how Christians are perceived by non-Christians. “Christians are supposed to represent Christ to the world. But according to the latest report card, something has gone terribly wrong. Using descriptions like “hypocritical,” “insensitive,” and “judgmental,” young Americans share an impression of Christians that’s nothing short of . . . unChristian.”
I completely agree with you. It’s like we’re getting it all backwards, which is really lame. I was talking with a guy at work the other day when he said “The biggest reason people don’t become Christians is because of the Christians they see.”
Insanity; but so true.
It’s been like this forever though, since the very beginning. We’ve got absolute guidance as to how we’re supposed to live in this world. God’s given us parables, commands, examples, witnesses, encouragement, accountability and we’re still dropping the ball. This is one of the things I really believe the Lord has been pressing upon my lately, this awareness of our general failure. Not to focus on the failure, but to focus on the incredible opportunities we’ve got right now, every day, to really spread the truth, the good words, the reality of our faith with this world.
Look through 1st Peter 2:9-23. Peter has just explained to these believers their need to come to Christ in the midst of our trials, that we need to be broken on the Rock instead of it falling on us and destroying us, and Peter gives us blatant, practical, applicable guidance to how we’re supposed to live in this world. This is from the New Living Translation.
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
10"Once you were not a people;
now you are the people of God.
Once you received none of God's mercy;
now you have received his mercy."
11 Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls. 12 Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.
Respecting People in Authority
13 For the Lord's sake, accept all authority-the king as head of state, 14 and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God's will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you. 16 You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God's slaves. 17 Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect for the king.
18 You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters. Do whatever they tell you-not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are harsh. 19 For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you.
21 This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
I know I fail in this aspect every day. Yet, I take encouragement that as God refines me, I’ll gain more and more success.
How great would it be to turn the current statistics upside down, really shake the world up…
Thanks for posting and sorry for the long comment.
Preach it brother!!! Thanks for typing a sermon as a comment 🙂