Saturday, February 2, 2013

Outreach

 I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

The other day I stumbled over this video: "The Christian Bubble: Part 1." I really didn't feel like watching a 10 minute video at the moment, but I was kind of curious; so I sat down and watched. I'm extremely glad I did.

At the beginning of the video, it shows different interviews a guy does at a university: asking random students their thoughts on Jesus. They get a lot of good opinions back. A lot of the college students seem open to them, which is great. But then the guy doing the interview asks each student their thoughts on Christians.

*boom*

Nearly every response is negative: stuff like "hypocrites," "Bible thumpers," and so on. In the video, the guy later says that it was embarrassing, being a Christian and hearing random people describe Christians like that. It also helped him realize how little time he was sharing with non-Christians, and--despite being unaware of it--how he'd basically encased himself in a little Christian social bubble: all Christian, all the time.

I think a lot of us are the same way. It's not intentional most times, but we end up getting so sucked up into church life and ministry and such that we forget why we're here. Jesus, however, did not forget: repeatedly reminding others of His and our purpose, like He did in Matthew 9:13:  
I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners,
and in Matthew 5:13-15:
You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. (emphasis mine)
I remember one time on Instagram someone told me that Christians are called to be holy and separate, and therefore shouldn't spend time with non-Christians. I can't remember exactly what verse they used in an attempt to back their statement up, but it was probably 2 Corinthians 6:14 and 15: 
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
The problem with that argument is that the verses are taken out of context. Paul here is talking about partnerships not friendships. A partnership (the state of being a partner) is generally closer than friendship (the state of being a friend). Paul wasn't saying we can't befriend and love non-Christians; he was telling the Christians in Corinth not to become so close to their pagan friends that it caused them to stumble in their walks with God. (Bad company corrupts good character -1 Cor. 15:33) The fact that Christians are using this passage as an argument to stay away from nonbelievers in general shows how far we've come from remembering our purpose.

Christian friends are a blessing and we definitely need them in our lives. God gave us the body of Christ for a reason. But as Christians, we're not here simply to cheer each other on or help other believers. We are here to be lights in a dark world. If all the lights in the world cluster together in one big, unmoving group, that only lights up their part of the world. The rest of the world is in darkness--not knowing what they're missing or desperately searching for it--because the very people charged with the duty of showing the light to the people aren't doing it. People are suffering because of our isolation. People are believing the stereotypes because they never meet any Christ-loving Christians face to face. Mohandas Gandhi didn't speak the quote above because he was mad at Christians; he said it because that's what he saw. And that's what people will continue to think until we break out of our bubbles and show them--with our words, actions, and lives--what a real Christian is supposed to be.

Below is the video I watched that inspired me to write this. Yes, it's ten minutes long, but its a worthwhile ten minutes. (Plus, it took me forever to figure out how to embed this video into the post; so if you don't watch it, all that time will go to waste. :P) So yeah, check it out. It elaborates on the points I talked about and emphasizes some others as well. Very awesome.



The Christian Bubble Part 1 from CrossPoint Church on Vimeo.


Have a great day and God bless! :]
But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. -Jude 20-23

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