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.

The Political Christian

My reflection on Chapter 7 of Unchristian:

Dealing with the perception that Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.

This chapter did not stick out to me too much.

I’ve blogged about this before so I will not spend too much time on it.

Obviously, younger generations are less traditional in their political viewpoints and agendas. Their stands on issues like homosexuality, media decency, sexuality, and family is continual shifting away from what their parents believed.
The younger generations are more willing to compromise their opinions to get the job done. They do not hold strongly to one position. As you can see in today’s relativistic, post-modern mindset!
Also the young generations are more skeptical than any others before them. Especially of the Bible.

As you have heard me rant before: I believe that politics are important but they are not worth dying for. By that I mean we need to put focus on the right thing. God and our love for Jesus is the right thing. If we win an election but loss our soul in the process, then it is not worth it. Also we need not put too much emphasis on Politics, nor on one particular party. Christians should never have a political party of association. We should go a lot deeper than just right wing or left wing. But instead vote for change. World change through the love of Jesus.

One party does not have all the right answers. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, don’t vote nessicarly on one issue. But one which is the best canidadte to lead us as a whole.

Also Chrisians need to lear about respect.
Respect others who have different believes.
Respect the leaders of our nation despite their agenda.
And do not get confused by the word respect!

Also do not think you can solve all the world’s problems with politics, cause you cannot. God can!
Do not be a hypocrite, but do vote. Do pray for our leaders. And do engage politics with a Christ-like attitude! And do promote good thing through politics in light of the Bible.

The Sheltered Christian

My reflection on chapter 6 of UnChristian:

The perception that Christians are boring, unintelligent, old-fashion, and out of touch with reality.

The Christian culture or sub-culture, seems to be well behind the secular culture. It is not as exciting to outsiders.

The perception continues to build since many outsiders see the “moral behavior” of Christians as boring, dull, predictable, lifeless, disconnected, and a rigorous standard of rules that keeps Christians away from pleasures.

Some outsiders go so far to say that Christians do not even have room to think and act for themselves. Their religion keeps them in an insulated box.

And there are good points here that outsiders are making. Think about how much time we Christians spend together doing things together for our own enjoyment. IN OUR OWN BUBBLE!

Instead of engaging a social club, we need to be out in the world as Jesus was.
Outsiders are not aware of their main problems. The true Christian worldview is not prevalently known by all people. We are failing at explaining the problem of sin to our common men. We are failing at sharing God’s love and Gospel!
we are not in the culture creating, contributing, and fighting for good art, music, history, literature, government, science, medicine, education, and social justice. Christians have had a history of creating and contributing to culture in the past and through this they have transformed the world and demonstrated God’s love and the Gospel to others. But today we are failing at this also!

Today’s younger generations are more flexible in viewpoints, more diverse in opinion, more comfortable with just about anything…they enjoy searching for new sources of input. They/We are more protected and more safe. We like safety. Everyone is entitled to safety and their own way of life and opinion and viewpoint.

Of course, every life is messy. Sin is messy. Fortunately our God is a god who can work in the mess, in fact he works better when people’s lives are messy and out of whack.

What do we do?

As is, Christians are not sharing the Gospel enough. They do not even have time to.
We need Balance. We need to spend less time doing in church things and more time reaching out in the world.

We have a responsibility to engage culture and engage lives. We have relationships with outsiders, but are we really sharing the Gospel with them? Are we salt? Are we light? Are we being the city on a hill?
These things take time and energy, are we devoting time and energy to the lost and our outreach to them?

Love dispels fear. Do not be afraid. But let the Holy spirit work and speak words through you.

Have compassion. Expect trouble, persecution, and to be offended. But do not let it bring yo down.

Be ready at any time. God wants to use us if we are willing and ready. Listen to the Holy Spirit!
Also be ready and willing to help the desperate: the sick, the needy, in gritty, real and raw places.

We come back to the idea of balance:
We are to be in but not of the world.
Pure and proximity.
Both are important.

One of the most important things to do is to forget about having this “Christian culture or subculture”
and to simply live in (but not of) this real world.
Secondly inside of this world we all a have a sphere of influence -people we see, live with, go to class with, sit by, in real life at school, at work, and everywhere we go normally.
These people are the people God has placed in your life to talk to, interact with, and share God’s love with.

The Pushy Christian

This is a reflection and call to action about chapter 4 of UnChristian by David Kinnaman. This is a book every Christian should read, in my opinion. And I will soon have a reflection from each chapter up shortly.

This chapter is called “Get Saved!” It addresses the perception that Christians are insincere and concerned only with getting converts.

In today’s post-modern mindset, the journey of life is stressed as more important that the destination. The process over the product! So with that said there is a lot of skeptism about any religion, far more about which religion is right!

Outsiders sometimes relate Christians to salesmen. Not only are outsiders skeptical about which message is correct, but they also question Christian motive and intention for sharing and being pushy about sharing the Gospel mesage.

Thinking about the reading, here are some thoughts that stick out about what is happening and what we should be doing:

Instead of converting the masses, focus on the relationships.

Don’t do risky things. Be a good steward of the Gospel and remeber that how you choose to share the Gospel is as important as actaully doing it!

Respect people. Do not offend someone in order to share the Gospel!

The logical barrier is not the only one. In fact most people come to know Christ for emotional reasons, rather than logical ones. The point is let the Holy Spirit do the convincing and do not focus just on the logical reasonings.

Keep in mind a lot of people think they are “Christian” (becuase they live in America, their parents were, they went to church when they were young, or they truly have gotten off track…)
so be respectful of their pasts, get to know them. Talk through the issues. Where do they stand with Jesus Christ? Is it a shallow superfical belief or is there something really there?

Others have truly had a real expireince with the church. It might have been a negative expireince and they have left the church completely. They have formed conclusions are really skeptical of anything you are going to say. They were searching and did not find the truth or anything worthwhile at church. This should be a wake-up call to the church!
If we are missing these oppurtunities, then how well are we truly loving and sharing God’s love?

It is time to stop living self-righteously as a church. Time to stop. Open up the doors to the outsiders and listen to them!

It should not be about a mere conversion, but about full transformation. Not just a “get out of Hell free,” but discipleship and growth in lifestyle.

Think, Love, Listen.
Let outsiders think about the Gospel. Love them. Listen to them. Build a real relationship and not just a conversion. Make visible the invisible, God and his love!

C.S. Lewis said it best…(as usual)

6 of 6 (on Chapter 8 of the book UnChristian)

This is the final post and in summary and reflection I am in thought of C.S. Lewis:

“There is someone I love, even though I don’t approve of what he does.
There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me.
There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most.
That person is me.”

If we can do that for ourselves what is the deal? Why do we not treat others the same way?

Remember it is NOT our job to judge, that is God’s!

What would it look like if we extended the same grace we extend to ourselves, to others?

The Christian of Grace

Post 5 of 6 in a series about Judgmental Christians.

We looked at how we can reach out in love and respect in the last post.

The key word for today is: Grace.

Think about it are we more concerned about being RIGHT than we are about being RIGHTEOUS?

I hope NOT. When we are like this we are very legalistic…we are like the Pharisees. We forget the true goals of the faith because we are too concerned over something silly.

When we truly understand the Gospel and what it is all about, we should be humbled.
Humbled by the message of Jesus.
And humbled by how we are portraying that message today ( the lack of!!!!)

We need to embrace not abandon the broken, the needy. Imagine yourself, once you were lost and in need of Grace and Mercy.

Where is our heart and perspective for the needy. Where is our evangelistic primer?
Where is our heart?
Is our faith so shallow that we are not sharing Christ’s mercy?

Let me leave you with this:
We can not give out something we have not received.

Is our church in a state of so much pride and arrogance that we have forgotten about grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love?

This has got to CHANGE.

The Christian of love

This post 4 of 6 posts where I have been reflecting on a chapter out of the book UnChristian.
The chapter is about Christians being Judgmental we have really caused a lot of pain and negative image because of our own sinfulness. And in the last three posts we saw the negative. We saw how Christians are wrong to be so judgmental.

But there is hope. There is a way we can be Christians of truth and still reach out to the lost. Key Word from last post was respect: How?

Listen to outsiders.
Don’t label.
Don’t be so smart. Don’t pretend to have all the answers.

Have empathy. imagine yourself in their shoes. Really get to know them, their situation! Understand them!!!

Be genuine and real with everyone. Don’t use the relationship to front a “christian agenda.” Be yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to weave in your faith in the conversation but do not be too aggressive about it. Be conversational. Be real.

Be a friend with no other motive. This speaks BIG!

See them as God does.

Let God judge!

The hypocritical Christian

This is post 3 of 6. This post series is based on chapter 8 of the book called UnChristian. Today’s post is the last of the bad news. The snowball effect from the first two posts continues to worsen here.

Okay, Christians come across as Judgmental. We are convinced that we are right. We know that sin is bad. We like to be prideful about our lifestyle.

We are seeing though that we can come across as self-righteous, as prideful. We are seeing that our judging outsiders is just as sinful as the action of those outsiders (that we were judging.)

This is humbling. This is hard to swallow, but this it the truth, it hurts. We need to change!

But here is probably the harshest news yet…it all builds on what was said in the past posts….WE tolerate our own pride! The church has accepted and has done little to excuse our arrogance. It is the sin the church is okay with,has not dealt with, has forgottewn about, has swept under the rug, and let it go by quietly.

This has been a huge problem…think about it: a community of big headed people who are very proud of themselves…they are active in Bible thumping. They are encouraged to point out sin and honor themselves as morally upright. This community is NOT THE church I WANT to be a part of!

This picture scares me…but there is truth in it. 😦

So hear is some application:

Key concept: The opposite of sin is not virtue, but grace. (and love.)
God tells us not to judge but to reach out with grace and love.

Key word: Respect

The sinful Christian

This is part two of six blog posts reflecting on a book called UnChristian. The specific topic of this series is judgmentalism and this post in particular, Christians flaws that we do not realize sometimes.

Stereotypes kill relationships! We sometimes harbor assumptions, prejudices, stereotypes, biases, about certain groups of people based on superficial stupid differences that should not make a difference at all! (Such as appearance, tattoos, excessive fat, dirty hair, ragged clothing, a lot of rings all over the body, bad breathe, etc)
These are the people we should be loving and reaching out too! these stereotypes come from misperceptions, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and they are errors on our part.

Can you not see it – it is so obvious to me, by judging these people wwe are just as sinful as those we are condeming.

Have you ever heard hate the sin, and love the sinner….
this is how it should be
but people think that Christians hate the sin and the sinner

We need to change this!

Let us not be so anxious to judge, but rather to LOVE. Even Christians make mistakes, get over it!

What we need to be doing is hanging out with the least desirable people in our culture and loving them as Christ did! Not judging them.

Our error: Pride, arrogance!

We are in conceit. We are in abundance. We are way to convinced that we are right about everything.

Becuase of this error, we are not open to other people’s perspectives in life. We are too aggressive and on the edge ready to persuade everyone else that they are wrong and we are right that we forget LOVE. We judge and we do not get to understand where others are coming from!

We so easily forget that God is to judge NOT humans!

We are to love. Wwe are to care for the needy and hurting.