Starbucks Spirituality – article from Christianity Today

I recently read an eye-opening, thought-provoking article called “Strabucks Spirituality”from Christianity Today.

The article is quite long, but worth the read. The article challenges us to find ways to relate the Gospel to Gen Y and a post-modern society. In the past the answer for salvation was presenting in words the Gospel message with PowerPoint presentations and four-point evangelistic outlines.

In today’s world spreading the Good News requires more than words. Christians have mastered the art of proclamation of words. But words alone aren’t going to answer the trust question.

Trust is built by actions, not words.

“We’re supposed to proclaim the kingdom of God and demonstrate the kingdom of God,” says Soong-Chan Rah, pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church near Boston. “Evangelism for our generation means learning to do both.

“People are not looking for theological comparisons but for attractiveness, relevance, and usefulness.”

But the best part is that Christianity is useful. relevant, and attractive…we need to demonstrate it as such. If we truly live it out, true Christianity (live like Jesus) then Christianity will appear as useful. relevant, and attractive, as it really is!

“Simply put: Being a Christian means following Jesus. If our discipleship is not leading us to continue to give away our lives to other people, at great personal cost, then we are not following Jesus.

“Be intentional and authentic in your friendship,” he says. “Their response to my overtures can’t determine whether we stay in friendship. If it does, then it’s not a friendship but a manipulative ploy to get them to become a Christian. It’s a difficult paradox to reconcile.

I recommend this article.

From UnChristian to Christian

My reflection on Chapter 9 of UnChristian:
This is my final reflection on The book Unchristian. I wish that every Christian will read this book (or at least all my posts reflecting on this book, lol 🙂 ) It was a good read and well worth the time. It has got me thinking a lot and the book has a strong impact on my soul. I really hope we can change our perception over the next 10-30 years of what it means to be a Christian!

In sum, it all comes down to this: being more Christ-like!
We must learn to respond to people the same way Jesus did!
The more mature we become in our faith the more we are able to see our need to continue learning and growing. expect persecution but understand who your real enemies are. It is not flesh and blood but of spiritual warfare. Satan and his demons want to see you miss the mark in your faith. They want to distract you from the main goal. (your relationship with Christ!)

When you respond to cynics and opponents of your faith consider defending God’s fame. Not your own image/fame! maybe this will be humbling, admitting you might be wrong, but bring glory to God!

Connect with people with relationships! Spiritual influence occurs more often in the actual relationships you have with people. God has put people and opportunities in your life to have an impact on! Jesus said that we would be known for our love in these types of relationships.

Be Creative! Just as Jesus was a master communicator, we have the oppurtunity to be creative in our relationships, in the way we communicate, and the way we share the Gospel. Breaking through to our audience is something that modern day Christians are lacking today. We need to find fresh ways to communiate the Gospel to a society that no longer has a background in the Bible! Ask the right questions, engage minds, get people to think for themselves about the Gospel. The Word of God is sharp and the Holy Spirit will turn that Word in thier minds, but we have to get their attention!

One of the biggest eye-openers, and heart changers is simple servce. Jesus did it. And Christian leaders that make an impact are servants. We need to cultivate a deep passion for outsiders and trly love on them with all our hearts and serve them. Put them first. Show them justice and love. This will require sacrifice, but it is nessicary!

Learn to listen. All humans are craving attention and real relationships. Do not make the relationship about you. But listen and love them!

As I said before it comes down to Christ-likeness. Have we lost sight of the main thing?
Is Jesus, the main thinkg in your life. Once you build upon the rock of Jesus – you mature and become more Christ-like and develop all of the things also talk about in this post. So to start get your relationship wiht Christ right. When we act like Jesus, when we look like Jesus….(guess what?), people will see Jesus and they will want what we have. They will desire to be around us. THey will come to know Jesus, in just the little Jesus in us, but the real thing!

The future Christian

My reflection on the Afterword of Unchristian:

This chapter in the book is a collection of thoughts and ideas from Christian leaders.

All of the perceptions in this book are not merely perceptions, but reality. There are tens of millions of people who see Christianity as how it is described in this book and there is good reason to why they see it this way.

Fortunately, God i a God of grace and love. There is a future and a hope. God wants to redeem and save! we need to remember common grace. The Modern church has forgot the basics of our faith like grace. When we forget about grace and do not portray it in society and in our disciples, the culture easily gets a negative perception of who we really are.

The simple truth is we need to become more Christ like again! It is hard work. We do not need strategies, we need to simply build our relationships and transform as Christ did.

This means:
getting out of our comfort zones
advocating for the undefended
be better listeners
fighting for social justice
being more courageous
being more humble
escaping the sub culture
living it out in the real world
truly sacrificing
taking it to the streets
being selfless and compassionate
do less fighting and bickering with those that disagree and love them
heal and self-help ministries, doing what we are called to do – what the government cannot do
being concerned with excellence in everything
being consistent in life
being bold
faith in action
changing our methods but not our mandate

We can truly change the world. God is sovereign and he wants to use us. We need to step up to the plate and let the Holy spirit make us into what he wants us to be.

Easter: Only by His Blood

I don’t typically post on Sundays, but today is special. Today is Easter.
I want to talk about blood, but not any blood. Just the saving blood of Jesus Christ. That is what today is all about, remembering and celebrating Jesus Christ’s death. His death and bloodshed for our sin. With Christ we are forgiven.

The importance and power of blood

without the shedding of BLOOD there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

God presented him [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—(ROM. 3:25)

the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:7)

Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Christ died for our sins so that we may live in Him. This is the essence of the Gospel. We are forgiven only by the blood.

After looking at Christ and why he died, we only have 3 choices:

1. Accept Christ’s blood and death for our sins. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Deity.
2. Reject Christ’s blood and death for sins. Think he is crazy. Jesus is a lunatic. Jesus is delusional.
3. Reject Christ’s blood and death for sins. Don’t trust Christ and His Word. Jesus is a liar. Jesus is deceiver.

For the Saint: Abusing the Blood
This is primarily, one of the greatest struggles a Christian can have. It is the struggle of the flesh as a sinner saved by grace. Psychologically, we know that God has forgiven ALL our sins. And we gladly accept this gift, that is Christ’s blood. We know God is sovereign and that we cannot lose our salvation from sinning (in general). So we have a struggle:
Abusing grace
But while we fully accept God as a forgiving God we should not forget He is also a Just God. He will judge us according to our actions here on earth. In Rom 6 chapter Paul lets us know that we do not have a license to sin. This how many abuse God’s Grace. If you read Philippians 3:18-19 It will tell you the consequences.
(My Rant:)
We have to live right! No longer should we live as abusers to grace. We need to step up and live right. Don’t hug all of Christ’s blood! He died for others too, so instead of selfishly indulging in our own sinful pleasures, we should be going onto the World and telling other’s about Christ’s redeeming blood that saves!

I want to end this blog with three amazing hymns/worship songs:
(In Christ Alone
Nothing But The Blood
Power in the Blood)