Do you think the American church and church body have lost the true mission of what Christianity is all about? I’ve felt that way for several years now. It seems to me that the church at large is more about competing with other churches and denominations than it is about being a light to others and winning them to Christ. We have forgotten that the church isn’t closed in between four walls. The church is supposed to be a living body, constantly in motion…..going, so to speak.
I have been one that just comes to church, sits on a pew, and listens to a sermon. I’m trying to be more mindful of what following Christ is really supposed to look like. It’s easy to come to church, talk about how awful the world is, and not doing anything. I’m certainly not saying that we should go out into the street corners and speak on a megaphone, telling the world to turn away from their sin and follow Christ. I think most of the world scoffs at that type of activity. No, the church, you and I are an example of Christ. What we do, how we behave, and what we say are a direct reflection of Christianity. So, when you or I go into the workplace, school, the grocery store, the park, to exercise, or whatever you do throughout the week, who are you representing? Do we really care about others or is everything we do self contained? To reach people you have to be willing to see them from where they are and listen to their mess. They may use colorful language, they may not have the same opinions as you, and they may wear their addictions like we wear our self righteousness. Ouch, did I step on your toes? Put some steel boots then.
I hear Christians say not to conform to the world. I agree, but that doesn’t meaning hiding from it. It doesn’t mean staying in the church expecting the lost to just show up on the doorsteps. We are called to be transformers. Salt to the earth, light to the lost. “You are the salt of the earth. If salt loses its taste, how can it be made to taste like salt again? It is no good. It is thrown away and people walk on it. You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that is on a mountain. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house. Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 (NLV)
Notice, where it says they will see the good things you do. Those good things do not consist of putting others down, telling them they are going to hell, that you have it all figured out and they are foolish, that your political party was God ordained and theirs is stamped with 666. This is why the world sees Christians full of hatred. Jesus said to love God and love others. What is love? “Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride.Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself. Love does not get angry. Love does not remember the suffering that comes from being hurt by someone. Love is not happy with sin. Love is happy with the truth. Love takes everything that comes without giving up. Love believes all things. Love hopes for all things. Love keeps on in all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLV)
God reached out to me in the depths of my sin, when I was a complete mess and saved me. He saved me from self destruction, he saved me from hatred, he saved me from misery, he saved me from the hell that I was in and going to. Remember where you came from, see others with Christ’s eyes and touch them with Christ’s heart.