Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who Do You Know?

Sometimes there are things about Christian culture that are quirky! We just returned from the annual Pastor's Appreciation Banquet with the Gideons - you know, the ones that hand out all the Bibles. It was a great evening and a guy shared a very cool testimony about how he found Christ through one of the bibles in prison. But there is something different about those meetings.

I had the same feeling when we were at the conference last month. It was a great conference and I learned a ton! But there is something funny about all of us Christians going to a conference with our coffee and our bibles and milling about in the bookstore buying Christian books. Maybe we stand out and do things differently because of our devotion to Christ. I hope that's it and it's not our devotion to "Christianness".

So, for us who are followers of Christ we are comfortable at a Gideon's banquet or a bible conference. The real question is do you know anybody who wouldn't be? Mike had read in a book somewhere that a non-Christian coming to one of our churches would be about as comfortable as me going to a gay bar. And I can tell you that would be pretty uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to make me want to run away and never go back!

Think about it! Do you know any non-Christians? It's so easy to get wrapped up in the "Christianness" of Christian culture that we never venture out. We don't talk to people who aren't like us. We aren't friends with people that don't have the same doctrinal theology as us.

Here are a few example from my life this past week that pointed out to me the opportunities I have to share Christ with others.

Have you ever gone to a high school football game and visited with someone you know who was already obviously sauced (that's drunk)?

Have you ever had someone at your kitchen table who sees no problem with bringing her daughter along to spend the weekend at her boyfriends house? Oh and that's why they can't make it to church right now.

Have you ever talked to a friend that believes in the Big Bang Theory? And assumes that you do too!

Have you ever listened to someone talk politics and realized you are on the opposite end of the spectrum?

If things like this never happen, then maybe we need to go to less Christian banquets and more gay bars. Ok, not literally, but we need to get out there in the world. We can't tell the lost about Jesus if we never talk to them, go to the same places as them, or listen to their talk (as crazy as it may seem). Jesus spent his time with the lowest people in society. He went places the religous establishment didn't approve of because as Mark 2:17 says: On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

I'm all for fellowship and feeding! I love worshipping with my church family and being with them is like a little taste of heaven on earth. But if we keep to ourselves we are falling down on the job God has for us here, to evangelize the lost.

So who do you know? If you can't think of anyone outside of your Christian circle, maybe it's time to get out there! Neighbors, co-workers, your kids' friends and their families, the guy at the coffee shop - the world is full of hurting people looking for hope. We have the Hope and it's not very "Christian" not to share it.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to bey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."

Matthew 5:14-16
"You ar the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Luke 15:2
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."


Joel and Jenn said...

Wow! That hurt! In a good way, I guess. Our Bible Study has just started going through The Truth Project put out by Focus on the Family. It is very good by the way, but one of my comments the other night was - "I don't even spend time with people who hold those radical world views." It was a very sad reality for me to admit. I'm so caught up in juggling everything I haven't invested at all in the people around me that don't know Christ. I guess it's not very Christian of me. Thanks Michelle for once again hitting at the heart of things.

Anonymous said...

So I was at a gay bar today (figuratively) speaking at a health and human services convention on God, evil and suffering. I was the un-pc guy and walked out alive. After having lunch with a couple of social workers, here's a common theme. Each group or person sees their job as extremely important, and it is, but they also see the system hopeless, and it is. So keep going to gay bars and giving the hope of Jesus Christ.

Wayne Pederson said...

Right on target. Another challenge in a series of challenges lately to get out of my comfort zone.