Monday, June 13, 2011
WARNING: I'm on a soapbox!
Book Review: Speaking of Jesus, the art of not-evangelism by Carl Medearis
I just finished this book! And it is eye-opening! Mr. Medearis, in his gentle way, offers an explanation as to why Christians are SO offensive and he also suggests a solution. I recommend this to all who ask the question, "Why are Christians ranked right up there with enemies of the state, terrorists, and hateful fear-mongering-filled-with-phobias unloving people?" You've got to admit, Christians have received nothing but ridicule over the past years from the very people we're called to help and encourage. Great comedians, politicians, artists, and writers have made us a laughing stock and the subject of late night jokes.
Some folks declare that this type of "persecution" comes with the territory and we should wear it proudly. Carl (and I) think that maybe we deserve the harassment because of our bad behavior. As the cigarette commercial used to say, "we've come a long way baby" since Jesus walked and talked on this planet. It's taken a long time but it seems we now have an "us" vs. "them" mentality. We've forgotten that the Christians purpose in life is to love and serve THEM, whoever that might be.
As a people watcher that is involved in several Christian organizations I too see examples of ungodly behavior from the ranks. Because I love the church it's always painful. Good intentions and loving hearts often do incredible damage to people that are already simply holding on by a thread. I'm convinced that most wicked words and speech are a result of just not thinking things through, not taking the time to stop and consider NOT "what WOULD Jesus do," but "what DID Jesus do." I'm afraid we've all too often left the path of "love" and now spend most of our time on the path of " selfishness and pride."
Today we spend most of our time in the "holy huddle" we've carefully developed, refusing to socialize, empathize or sympathize with anyone outside our particular group. God forbid if we should cross paths with someone different than us!
A fresh example appeared this week. I heard two stories of elderly ladies that died, two different moms from two different states.. In both cases their sons proudly proclaimed that they would not be attending their own mother's memorial service because the service would include elements that their particularly church denomination frowned upon. WHAT? They were NOT going to attend because a family member or two would be there that are not Christian, that some words might be said that are not in their Christianese vocabulary?
They are both staying away from their grieving family members in order to "take a stand" against an element in that service that they can not embrace.
Well, now that's just special, isn't it? That'll leave a great impression of the love of God on THOSE family members. Way to go guys!
When did we stop thinking?
I'm ready for a revolution. WHAT IF, loving relationships replaced religion? What would that look like? Jesus, maybe??
(Carl reminds us that Jesus came down the hardest on the religious people of His day!)
"You can't make impact if you don't make contact." Chuck Swindoll
I'm going to try really hard to make sure my CONTACT today is thoughtful and not religious!