In my preparations for starting this new church I have been in almost-constant conversations with people. The biggest question I have been asking is, “What puzzles you about today’s Christianity?”
One of the recurring themes has been the way that Christians seem to want to make extensive lists about what it means to be Christian (i.e. Republican, anglo, heterosexual, fill-in-your-favorite-item-on-the-list and you know the list I’m talking about). At first when I heard this I was very defensive… angry even. I thought, that’s just because the rest of you are wrong & we’re right and you just can’t handle the truth! Over time I am beginning to see that my approach was exactly what they are talking about.
Even when it comes to issues that the Scripture seems to address clearly, there is a temptation to beat people up with those things. I certainly don’t have it all together – on any level. So, I am learning that it is the approach to those discussions that matters. Pre-Christian people are even willing (in most cases) to accept the fact that I may not share their opinion if I am willing to listen to their thoughts and not crucify them for not seeing things the way I may see them.
In the end I am beginning to see that this stance gives credence to the Gospel. It reflects more accurately the spirit of Jesus and it affords me an opportunity to help people understand things that may not make sense to them.
I remember an old preacher used to say… “The Gospel really isn’t the good news if it doesn’t reach those who need it.” While he was talking about world missions to unreached people groups, I think the same could be said of our sometimes puzzling approaches to discussions on topics that we identify as signposts of our Christianity.
One thought on “Resisting Enigmatic Christianity”
I like what you have to say here. I grew up with a dad that had one way to live…his way…the right way. I went to a school that you were taught to live one way… their way… the right way. For someone a little less mature such as a child or someone not trained this way it is hard to follow. Although I believed and loved God it maked religion seem too rigid to follow. I am glad that God brought me back to realize it is about LOVE and GRACE. I love my church because it stears away from legalism which makes it easier to be acceptant and lead others to Christ. I have to admit I do have tendancies to get a little judgemental but I have to remind myself that people arent in the same place as I am in my life. Ive learned to accept people for who they not the choices they make. Its very hard to do but with Gods grace…. I keep on learning.