Christian

Is It Time to Change the Label?


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People use labels to identify themselves all the time.  Conservative.  Liberal.  Gay.  Straight.  Canadian.  American.  The list is endless.  Every time we hear one of those labels, it evokes an image in our minds based on what we know (or think we know) of people who bear them.  The image can be positive or negative, based on our opinion or experience.  I wonder what comes to mind when someone labels themselves a Christian?

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I’m Not the Only One

In a recent post I discussed the fact that we may need to change the label used by God’s people to identify themselves.  This is based on the fact that the term “Christian” has so much baggage associated with it.  I have also found out that I am not the only one struggling with this issue…

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Photo Credit: Tiquetonne2067 via Compfight cc
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We May Need to Change the Label

What do you think when you hear the term “Christian”?  Do you think of someone who is “saved,” or “born again”?  Maybe you think of someone who goes to church.  The face of a relative may come to mind who you would think of as a Christian.  You may even think of yourself!  Regardless what comes to mind when you think of the word, an honest investigation will show that it has lost a good deal of its original meaning.  For the sake of effective ministry in this post-Christendom era, we may need to change the label we wear.

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Ashamed

Rachel Held Evans has definitely made her mark in the Christian blogosphere.  Edgy and brutally honest, her writing is definitely not for those who are comfortable with their religion.  While I may not always agree with her conclusions, I always appreciate her willingness to tackle the tough issues and ask the hard questions.

Recently Rachel shared a post on her blog titled Ashamed.  In it she writes about some of the things she is utterly ashamed of as she looks at what our modern version of Christianity has become.  Let me provide you with a little snippet of what she shares.

I am ashamed of the bumper stickers, the t-shirts, the logos, the fog machines, the light shows, the celebrities, and that paralyzing fear of Silence we’re so bound and determined to avoid that we keep shouting and shouting and shouting at one another till our words are just clanging cymbals echoing off church walls.

I am ashamed of the walls. They are built high, with circles of barbed wire around the top, to keep pests away from our bread and wine, to keep the Silence from getting in.

While she poignantly writes about what she is ashamed of, she is equally poignant about what she is not ashamed of.  Consider the following.

I am not ashamed that when God strapped on sandals and walked among us, God fed the hungry, wept with the mourning, touched the untouchable, turned water into wine, cracked jokes about religion, obeyed his mom, defended the defenceless, bantered with children, forgave his enemies, and reminded us that the whole point of it all is to love God and love our neighbours well.  That’s it. 

I encourage you to go and read the entire post.  And after you have read it, read it again.  I’m sure it will resonate in the heart of ever Follower who is truly seeking to live in the Reign.

M

How to Keep from Being Ugly

Let’s face it, sometimes Christians are ugly.  REALLY ugly.  It can happen so easily when we focus on the wrong thing.  In the video below Bruxy Cavey, Teaching Pastor at The Meeting House, informs us how we can keep from being one of the ugly ones.
Someone once quoted Ghandi as saying, “I like your Jesus but I don’t like your Christians.”  Let’s make Christianity attractive again by focusing on Jesus and following in His footsteps.  After all, that’s what living in the Reign is all about.
M

Follower or Admirer?

I encourage you to prayerfully read a quote from Søren Kierkegaard’s book Provocations.  This quote causes one to seriously reflect on their relationship to the King.

What is a Christian?

On his blog, Jeff K. Clarke asks the question, “What is a Christian?”  I believe this is a critical question that must be answered by this generation.  While I hope you read the entire post, I want you to take a good look at his conclusions and see if you agree.

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