Only a week ago Jesus was to return for His people and rapture us from this earth and all its corruption. Didn’t happen. the man and his worldwide campaign was wrong, again! But, it did accomplish a great deal – including giving people another reason to reject the Christian faith – to not consider the truths proclaimed by the true Gospel of the Kingdom. And, it has made me even more aware of the many different ways people view the Christian Church and the faith we confess.
And then there is “Reverend” Jones in Flordia that caused a worldwide media stir by threatening and then, much later, actually burning a copy of the Koran…. or the Bpatist Church that pickets funerals of fallen US military men and women – not to forget the pastor in southern Flordia that declared himself to be the next incarnation of Christ… and the list goes on.
Some think that we are just a bunch of crazies (see the picture for this blog). Surveys show that people know what we are against (abortion, homosexuality, Muslims, the death sentence) and have no idea what we stand for.
In their 2007 book, UnChristian, authors David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons present three years of extensive research on what young people outside the church (aged 16 to 29) think of those of us in the church. The vast majority of non-Christians – 91 percent – said the first thing they think about Christians is that we are anti-homosexual. Following closely behind this perception were “judgmental” and “hypocritical” – no surprise here. I do, however, find it staggering that the greatest thing we are now known for is that we are anti-gay (which we are absolutely not – anti-sin, yes!). I wonder how this happened. How did our biblical stand against a sin (not against the people) end up defining who we are and forming the main ingredient in our reputation?
It is time as Christians, to focus on our message – the positive message that we bring to the world. A message of hope. A message of love. A message of purpose and potential. It is time we returned to the message that Jesus preached – the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent. A very positive message offering an alternative to the world as we know and see it. It is time to return to the first and only message of the early church – the Kingdom of God and the fact that the King of the Kingdom has been raised from the dead. It is time for us to be believers, disciples, followers of the Lord who was not negative and always saw people’s potential and worked towards bringing them freedom so they could achieve that potential.
The Point: What message do you proclaim as a disciple of the Lord? By your lifestyle – what are you saying? By the way you treat others – all others – what are you saying? What are you saying by the way you use your time and money? When you speak about world issues and current news items – what message are you communicating? By the way you treat others who are different than you are – what are you telling the world? You are the only Bible many will ever read and read you they are. What are you communicating each and every day to those who are non-believers?
It is time to take a close look at what we believe and how we are or are not communicating it.