Self Protected Christianity


When life throws punches and it seems everything is raining down at once it is easy to feel overwhelmed. My pastor recently said in a sermon that the church today has preached an easy believing message that essentially paints the picture that all we need to do is raise a hand or come down to the altar to “Be Saved” .  There is little or no talk about the cost of following Christ.

In fact when you look at the early church there is a very different message modeled there. We who say we believe should look very different from the world around us, we should/would be ridiculed… even persecuted, in fact many people would probably label us fanatics in the sense that our claims and proclamations would sound bizarre to a world that does not know or accept that Jesus is Lord.

I am not suggesting that we should be in burlap shouting from street corners, however neither should we be slow to share who Jesus is and how he has impacted our lives… or maybe that is the root of the problem… maybe Jesus hasn’t really impacted our lives, maybe we just want to nest under the idea that we get to go to heaven because “We believe in Jesus”?

Belief is not enough, even the demons believe and perish! Faith is an active living out day by day that trusts and rests in the truths of the bible and it means being vulnerable, we practice self-protection in our “Christianity” because we want to be happy and “if we believe in Jesus only good things should happen to us”.

Self protected, self-absorbed, self-directed lives are oxymoronic to true Christianity because true Christianity places others before one’s own needs or desires, it calls for a broken and repentant spirit that recognizes that apart from Christ I can do nothing! It revels in the opportunity to serve others and to share the “Good News” with people everywhere. (Share, not cram down their throats without love or grace)

How much sharing do we do outside of the pulpit?

JT

 

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About JT

I am a happily married man with 6 children and have overcome an autoimmune disease through lifestyle changes. I hope to share my story and explore others' stories and perhaps together both of our lives will be enhanced.
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6 Responses to Self Protected Christianity

  1. Kate Cote says:

    Boy, you sure like tackling tough subjects don’t you my Brother??

  2. Great Post JT! I really try hard to give back, especially within the community I live. I believe there could be a little more sharing going on as well as sharing of kindness too:) Have a Great One!

    • JT says:

      Hi Renee, I am conflicted because there is a lot I want to write but feel this isn’t the place to write it. Hope you are well and thank you as always for your encouragement.

  3. Donald Miller says:

    Hi, JT. Got your request about my site. I opened it up–not that there’s much on it.

    A few thoughts–dissenting, as usual. Not trying to be contrary, but once again I can’t reply honestly without stating my perspective.

    “many people would probably label us fanatics in the sense that our claims and proclamations would sound bizarre to a world that does not know or accept that Jesus is Lord.”

    I don’t think you can compare the world that Christ and his disciples lived in with that of the modern world. Everyone knows the Christian message, for it is common knowledge in this era. Ever since Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, we entered a new era that has little in common with the early church.

    These are reasons why it is important to be active in the here and now of world history. Jesus was obviously, according to the biblical account, a radical revolutionary. There is a very strong belief among Christians that they should be fixated on the bible. Martin Luther held this view, as he was sorry that people would be reading the things that he wrote instead of the bible. Yet, when he placed his message on that cathedral doorway, he unalterably changed the course of history.

    Christianity is no longer an isolated sect whose actions have little effect on world affairs. While it’s true that a relatively small percentage of the US government can live in their own world, it doesn’t alter the impact that their actions have here and globally. The world was brought to the cusp of economic catastrophe, an event that would cause suffering, misery and indeed starvation for hundreds of millions of people.
    Christianity is a major force in global affairs. 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan were the result of fundamentalist religious views, Christian and Muslim. Half a million people died as a result of the war in Iraq—and it’s an ongoing one with evolving repercussions.

    In my opinion, the most grievous sin that everyone is making is not being aware of what’s going on in the world. Take for instance, Vatican 2, which most of us non-Catholics know little if nothing about. The idea was to change the church back to it’s early message and condition, to change the church from the oppressors to the champion of the poor and oppressed. The most violent opposition to this occurred in South America where the CIA of the United States along with indigenous and corporate funds slaughtered anyone who would challenge the status quo. Jesuit priests, along with those who were around them, were gunned down. The School of the America’s in South America is a US backed entity that trained the killers throughout the eighties and suppressed any challenge to change.

    Ephesians 6:12

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    • JT says:

      I definitely agree that the Christian message is widely known today, and that Christianity in name has been influential in the world. The Christianity of today I find myself distancing myself from because it rarely looks like the biblical Christianity I read about and meditate on in the Bible, (of course my perspective is the only one I reference here :-)!). The bible as well as any other literary endeavor I believe to be always a melting pot of controversy. In part it is a celebration of our uniqueness and in part it is a bane to find commonality between us when reading others perceptions of the world around us and inevitably coming up with a different take on what the author’s intent is/was. Additionally sometimes we are just going to flat out disagree with what someone’s thoughts or ideologies consist of.

      Finding faith in my opinion has a lot less to do with my intellect and a lot more to do with my experiential investigations emotional/relational in part and yet something else deeper and harder to define…

      Ephesians 6:12 is an apt analogy that I find comfort in in the sense that it leaves me somewhat free from the expectation that I can figure it all out.

      Always enjoy the fact that you motivate me to think my friend.

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