what do we want, really? – part two

yesterday i presented the following discussion starter:

it seems to me that there are a lot of christians being christians (i.e.: going to church, carrying their bibles, doing other christian-type things), but very few christians being passionate followers of jesus (i.e.: cultivating mentoring relationships, living lifestyles of worship, being sacrificial).  so here are my questions:

1.  why do you think that is?

2.  what can we as the church do about it?

3.  is there something that i as a church leader can do to facilitate passion?

i received some tremendous responses (which i will edit and present in my next post).   first, though, i want to relate a couple of fascinating conversations i had today.

in my “early tuesday” meeting, i was whining to david and mason about the tendency toward rampant complacency i see in the church.  we were talking about the benefits of a christ-centered life, and how our lives would be transformed if we got up in the morning determined to focus on jesus and life in the kingdom (personally, i am convinced that most of us would find the fulfillment we’re looking for if we would simply live in/through/for jesus rather than self).  david said (and i’m paraphrasing), “i’ll guarantee you that 99% of christians never have those types of thoughts.”  

how utterly sad.

this afternoon i was talking philosophy my youth pastor, david (out of the mouths of babes!), and he said: “it’s really hard to be a christian.”  i asked what he meant, and he said (paraphrasing again), “there are just so many problems and distractions and temptations out there, it’s tough to stay focused no matter how much you love jesus, and no matter how hard you try.”

i agree with the statements from both of these wise men, and they have captured the essence of my angst.  the more i want people to experience and enjoy life “in the vine” (john 15:1-8), the more i find resistance.   i search for hunger and discover self-satisfaction.  i try my best to teach faithfulness without the legalism, and people stay away in droves.   should i lighten up a little?  not be such a stickler about biblical truth?  accept lukewarmth as a sign of the times?  or maybe i should just do my job and let the chips fall where they may.

what are your thoughts?

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3 thoughts on “what do we want, really? – part two

  1. Just a thought this post made me think of. CS Lewis made a point once there are to many books on Christianity & the Bible and not enough on other topics by Christian authors from a Biblical world veiw. A Hindu study guide may not get a Christian hooked but run it across Oprah and you get different results. With out tying it to the name “Hindu” how many Christians would catch it as false teachings? Ponder the term politicaly correct. Thiknk of all the things politicaly INcorrect that contridict basic truth, history, and the Bible. I know I’m stuck on doctrine right now but I can’t help but think the 99% talked about have a lack understanding of doctrine. Do they belive?? I do not men they are going to hell but do they really belive? They may know sister Oprah isn’t the best of shows to watch but can not explain why with a Biblical basis. They know they have 1st & 2nd amendment rights but can not Biblicaly say why. They’ve memorized scripture but can’t relate it to other passages and apply it to life. Society has been assaulted repetivley with false doctrines and philosophy’s through “non” religious avenues through song and story like parables of false teaching. Our understanding of doctrine as a Church is so weak we can not spot false teachings or give a reason why when we do catch it by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  2. The above comment is very interesting. (and, in my view, getting close to the major issue of church attendence and actually being “a follower of Jesus”)

    I would like to see a post on just what is meant by “a Biblical world view”, “false teachings”, “false doctrines”; would not want to response based on my assumptions of want is meant by using those terms.

    Randy, some of your posts can get my juices flowing and the last two have done that!

  3. First maybe I am lumping church goers and Christians but only God would know that. And I say this with great caution not to portray/promote a leagalistic religion.

    Biblical world veiw: the Bible being the prism one veiws the “entire” world through.
    A– I had a college science textbook once that used the term “creatures” for animals in evolution. Creature which is derived from created is quite opposite evolution. Not to say the vernacular alone makes it a Biblical based book but a created theme can be written into the book. It would then be a Biblical world veiw
    B–Also consider the “inailienable rights” not granted to us by the Constitution or man but mereley acknowledged. Schools today breeze by the term “inalienable”. That term sets our govermental documents apart from any other in the world. God gave these rights and only God not man can take them away. This is what the Constituttion points out in the word inalienable. This would be a Biblical world veiw.
    C– I have a friend, a devout Catholic, with a Catholic sister in law who believes in pro-choice. The Bible is quite clear on abortion. At some point she has disconected real life from Biblical precepts and has taken a secular wold veiw.
    D- I had a Christian friend who once said I was a fool to consider the Bible and God when voting. She felt they have no relationship. This thought would not be a Biblical world veiw.
    E– Fictional shows and books I would consider a Biblical world veiw Leave it to Beaver, Andy Grifth show, Lion Withch and the Wardrobe, A Christmas Carol, The Shoemaker Martin. While each are fictional and some are into the realm of make believe they all hold to a Christian moral standard or Christian theme being taught in there story lines. This is unlike books and shows like Desparate House Wives, Harry Potter, and The Golden Compass.

    On false doctrines and teachings I think all Church members will get to Heaven and say Whooops! and miss some element of teaching and or doctrine. This is not quite what I’m talking about.
    One example of what I’m talking of is there is a movement out in the Church today that teaches if you want somthing you pray for it and you will recieve it. While the Bible says ask and you shall recieve it is a false teaching if you do not balance it with other aspect of the Bible. Take Saul he lost everything when he became Paul. Joesph was raised in the desert to be used in a palace but Moses was raised in a palace to be used in a desert. If you can speak your own reality into existance how do we explain Moses and Paul among others in the Bible. I know many Christians who believe this teaching and read, watch, and listen to teachers who teach this. My concern is how many new believers lose faith because the new truck and boat they prayed for is not in the drive way. There are many false teachings this is just the most current and widley accepted among beliver today in my opinion. All the while missing God is concerned with our Holliness not our Happiness.
    On doctrine some trinitarian churches may add to saved by grace by structuring a works system to “help along” the salvation process giving a Christian congregation a cult like element. Some groups add/have doctrine so contrary to the Bible they wander off into the status of cult by Biblical standards. Many if not most Christians I know could not recite or come up with on their own a basic and concise statement of faith such as (just one example) the Apostles Creed and be able to show a non believer Biblical suport for the statement. Not only for the unbeliver but to help believers to help discern false doctrines and teachings when it arises. When you can not discern false doctrine and teaching Baptists, Mormons, AG, Jehova’s Witness, Catholic, Lutherans, Hindu, and Muslim can often be lumped all or partially together as christian (or little c christian =good person) where some of those mention are very far from Biblical teachings. In addition if you not only belive but KNOW and UNDERSTAND you passion can not help but shine.

    Just my thoughts

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