Thursday, October 14, 2004

Christianity > Religion...

I continually find myself these days pondering modern day religion - especially that found in the "evangelical churches of the south."

I am constantly amazed by the comments that I hear around the "church" building - from the church people - and on the church sign...

for example, just the other day someone made the comment - "we live in the Bible belt and this is where the real christians are."

No lie - my immediate thought was - why don't you go tell that to the Sudanese Christians facing genocide for their beliefs or the Chinese Christians in prison for claiming the name of Jesus Christ or any of the Christians struggling to survive in a muslim country...

we think that because we go to church a few times a week and read our bibles daily and pray before our meals and live in smalltown, america where our teachers don't get in trouble for talking about Jesus - we think that this makes us the "real christians" - where is our cross? where is our scourging? where is our suffering for the name of Christ?

WOW! What a dangerous place to be.

I think it is far past time to take a look at the current state of Christianity and ask ourselves: Is this the religion Jesus Christ intended? Is this the religion He instituted?

To further prove how clever we Christians in the south are, we have all purchased signs to put in front of our churches so we can put various clever messages out for all the world to read.

A few that I've seen or heard of in the past few days:

1. Stop, Drop, and Roll won't work in Hell!
2. Eternity in Hell is a long time!
3. Whoremongers and adulterers will be harshly judged!
4. Eternity: Smoking or Non?

Do we honestly believe this is going to make a lost and dying world slam on their brakes, turn around, beat down the doors of the church, and get saved?

I just can't keep myself from asking:

It is so difficult to try and be relevant - the world rejects you most of the time and the church seemingly rejects you all of the time...

I've been reading a book that has brought more clarification to the topic of relevancy than any other single work I've encountered to date.

It's entitled The Journey Toward Relevancy: Simple Steps for Transforming Your World

I highly recommend it You can order it here. While you're there check out Relevant's website. They have some great resources and awesome t-shirts - my favorite being the "up & coming televangelist" shirt.

oh well, i guess i have yet to find the solution and must admit that at times, i am part of the problem.... so i'll just keep wrestling with the truth, listening to the Spirit and trying to figure this whole thing out...
posted by Rick and Christie