When you hear ‘Church’ what do you think of?
When you’re at work, or out with your friends – are you afraid to say that you’re a Christian?
Do you hesitate talking about Jesus in day to day conversations?
Why do you think that is?
When people hear ‘Church’ or ‘Christian’ many may automatically assume several things about you.
I did a quick google search trying to find what society thinks of Christians. I found several common themes.
Conversely, when I looked up “Jesus is” I found words like: Love, savior, faithful, perfect, merciful, deliverer, peace, forgiveness.
Then I went in to the Bible to discover what it had to say about Jesus. The words match what I was finding in my search.
Love: 1 John 4, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 4:10, 2 Timothy 1:7
Savior: Luke 2:11, 1 Timothy 1:15, Luke 19:10, Acts 13:23
Faithful: Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Timothy 2:13, Psalm 33:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Perfect: Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 7:28, Matthew 4:1-11
Merciful: Isaiah 61:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 4:7, 1 Timothy 1:16
Deliverer: Psalm 68:20, Luke 21:28, Philippians 1:19, Psalm 74:12
Peace: John 16:33, Psalm 4:8, Psalm 72:7, Daniel 10:19
Forgiveness: Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 6:14, Colossians 3:13, Luke 6:37
The list goes on and on
If Christians are to be like Jesus, why aren’t we (the church) described like Jesus? What are we doing as the “Big C Church” to drive so many people away?
I suspect Lynda may be pretty close in her comment to a similar question in a forum that I found.
The [Pharisees] and Sadducees, the most religious people in the time of Jesus, also were seen as judgmental. Living a holy life was serious business, with rules upon rules about what you could and couldn’t do. They were miserable people.
I suspect that the Christians that you would identify as judgmental are kindred spirits of the Pharisees and Sadducees, although to be fair, they certainly wouldn’t see it that way. From their perspective they are devoted to God and simply are trying to live lives in accordance with his word.Lynda Rea
What are YOU doing to change this perception? Are you stepping up and speaking out when injustice happens? Or are you ‘close but not quite’ like the Pharisees and Sadducees?
Are you loving your neighbor (your gay neighbor, your black neighbor, your disabled neighbor, etc) as yourself?
Do you show the people in your life (the cashier at the grocery store, the server at the restaurant, the woman with the screaming kids behind you in line, etc) love?
The only way we can combat the negative ideas and feelings people have of Christianity are if we are constantly showing them something different.
Dear Christian, I’d like to challenge you; Go out of your way to show someone love today. Just one person. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. Those encounters will add up. Especially if we all start making it a point to implement it in our daily lives.
I work – and it is a matter of discipline – at not using the term Christian. I’m trying to use “Jesus Follower” instead. And, I don’t want anyone to be a better Follower; I want them to Follow Jesus Better!