Friday, June 29, 2007

Disturbing Church

Want to be disturbed about how Christians are viewed by the unreached in the U.S.? I just read through "A Month of Sundays" by The Stranger, an alternative newspaper published in Seattle- http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=242675. (Thanks to Marty, The Renzntzman, for this link.) And yes, I was disturbed...

Partly because there was some VERY painfully truthful comments written about our irrelevance, our commercial-ness, our habits... How we water down the truth and try to make it 'hip'. How we practice our 'Christianese' and make it impossible to understand what we're talking about. I wanted to read about some dynamic churches really sharing Jesus and making a difference in the world. Not what these predominantly atheistic writers experienced... Out of the 31 reviews written, only 3 or 4 of the writers seemed to be impacted in a positive way. And I wasn't sure if that was 'cuz the church was really in tune with Jesus or if that person was already open to hear about the truth...

Why aren't Christians more 'graceful'? We've got so much grace extended to us and covering us- Why can't we touch the lives of the people we meet with Jesus' mercy and grace? Why do Christians make it so hard for people to see Jesus? I see this bumper sticker up here a lot, "Lord, save me from your followers"... I don't want to be one of those followers! I know some of 'em... And I know there are days that I am one...

God, I don't want to be one of the people who turns people away from you! Please help me be a positive message of your grace, love and mercy. Yes, Your TRUTH is important. Yes, the reality of hell and evil and sin is important. But God, how sad to hear how Your followers are viewed... Please help me remember that I am ALWAYS a bearer of You- Your image, Your message. I want to be an accurate visible representation of the difference You can make. I can't do this on my own. Please help me be salt and light- Not something nasty and vile. Please bless Your church with Your presence. Help us accurately present You to the world... Help us remember that the world is always watching. Why did You entrust us with reaching the world around us??? We are doing a lousy job! God, forgive us. Forgive me. Help me serve You better- as a witness, as someone who's been changed and made new by You...

2 comments:

Jon said...

Amen and Amen.

There's a wonderful section in Don Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" where he talks about building a confession booth on campus at Reed College during a big decadent festival. When people apporached they thought they were coming to confess their own sins, but when they came inside, Don and his friends would confess to them the sins of the church, past and present!

becca said...

Yikes! Appropriate, yes. But I'm not that brave or bold or, I don't know, maybe the right word is 'convicted' about sharing our wrongs with anybody & everybody... But I admit I'm embarrassed about some of the stuff in the Christian bag of sins... I KNOW the church has made horrible sinful choices...

I do see the value in the act of saying 'No, we the church have not been right in all our actions, we have not been true to the beliefs we claim, and I choose to say I'm sorry for what has been done in the past and what is being done now in the name of Jesus"... For me and the listener... I can see how it would reach people in a way that nothing else would...