July 16, 2009

"Here Come the Christians!"

Our church family experienced a wonderful day of worship Sunday as our students shared their stories from M-Fuge this year. Their trip to Charleston, S.C. to share the love of Christ had a transforming effect on Charleston as they left the evidence of their passing in the lives of children, the elderly, the handicapped, at soup kitchens, abuse shelters, and on freshly painted houses. Perhaps more transforming was the impact of serving others in the name of Christ. Those who went returned significantly changed.

One shared comment caught my attention and fired my imagination. Angie worked all week with children in a difficult neighborhood and she shared that as they pulled up on the last day she could hear one of the girls yelling "Here come the Christians!" (I wish I could give you the vocal inflection here - just know that it was ethnic, joyful, and sincere.)

I thought to myself, "If only that could be the world's reaction to the arrival of Christians."

It seems that the world is less than excited to see Christians coming.

SignsImage by NatalieMaynor via Flickr

According to research done by the Barna group, and published in a book titled UnChristian, growing numbers of people born after 1965 describe Christians with words like...
  • hypocritical
  • pushy
  • anti-homsexual
  • sheltered
  • too political
  • judgemental
too rattle off a few. One fellow from Mississippi stated, "Christianity has become bloated with blind followers who would rather repeat slogans than actually feel true compassion and care. Christianity has become marketed and streamlined into a juggernaut of fearmongering that has lost its own heart." (p. 15, UnChristian, Dave Kinnamen)

Ouch.

It doesn't sound like there are many voices like that little girl's in Charleston, S.C. shouting with delight that the Christians have arrived.

I am grateful that our students and adults had the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ. I pray that all who claim to follow Him will take note that He came with a hand stretched out in love and not a fist clenched in anger (except for those who were supposed to be rightly related to God - another post for another day). And even His lovingly outstretched hand ultimately got a nail driven through it for His trouble. To which He replied, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Beloved, we have lessons to learn.


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