When i was young i remember hearing on the radio someone saying they weren’t religious they had a relationship with Christ. i thought that sounded cool, but had no idea what it meant, but i said it anyway…
In college, i actually developed a relationship with God. And one year the big break t-shirt which i wore proudly said “0%, 100 % relationship” which greatly confused my Catholic room mate…
And one night my friend Justin (both these guys were at the wedding last week by the way) came into our room par usual and i was reading my Bible or something, and he said “I’m not religious like you.” To which i said “I’m not that religious either”
The conversation with Justin went well. i got to explain what i meant. You may see it as religious, but i’m reading this Bible because i love reading it (i wish i could still say that with the same honesty i did back then). Spending time with God, doing the things i do for God bring me joy. It was my best conversation with J, but he still said that God could never accept him (that was pretty common thing my friends would tell me back then).
Still, i gotta think people don’t understand this idea of not being religious.
Nowadays, it has gone a step further. We don’t just say we’re not religious, we don’t even want to say we are Christian.
There is a phenomenom out there that is called Christian culture.
It is interesting to me that there are Christians out there who don’t want to be called Christians. They don’t want to associate themselves with Christians. They call themselves followers of Christ… but they don’t want to associate with those who do.
Now, it has gone farther. Folks call out Christians because they are weird, because they are cheesy, because they are “legalistic.” Then there are others who will rip on people because they are not holy enough. The songs they sing aren’t accurate enough. Or they look too much like everyone else.
Everyone has their own problem i suppose. We may say it is because they don’t really represent Christ, though for others it’s if they stand behind their convictions, because they share their faith, or because of their theological stance one way or the other.
Not a Christian, but a follower of Christ they say…
I still think the modern-day church sounds like the church in Corinth to me. I am of Paul. I am of Apollos. I’m even better, I follow Christ.
News flash folks: you can’t love Christ if you don’t love your brother. And if you’re not willing to associate with your brother, why would Christ be willing to associate with you.
The same people who will scream for racial reconciliation and for unity are the same people who create these new barriers and give little grace to others.
Are there faults in the church? Sure. But shouldn’t we work at loving each other and building each other up, rather than tearing one another down?
We blame everything on this Christian culture, instead of owning up to our own faults and sins.
The problem isn’t Christian culture. And the biggest problem people have with Christians is not that they are cheesy or weird or strict- it’s the hypocrisy- the biggest being we talk about love, but then do nothing to show love- especially to each other.
I often have found it ironic that there were always students in a movement or a church who would champion the cause of unity with other groups and churches, when there wasn’t even unity within their own group!
I live in a city where there are a ton of different groups. And I get along with these others pretty well. In years past, teams have come in and built good friendships with them… but they didn’t so much with each other. We weren’t intentionally putting off others, but we did work hard at building community within our own group- and I think it was worth it.
If we want to be relevant to the lost community, I think we need to work on loving one another… and then on sticking to our convictions- being committed to holiness and the Word of God, even if some may call it strict or judgmental or whatnot. It’s the wavering that hurts us more…