musings on worship and christian living

Is it Revelation or just Ranting?
February 7, 2009, 3:45 am
Filed under: Random Musings

I was talking with a friend tonight and (as is very common with me) the topic turned to the church and Christians and I left the conversation very fired up.  Thoughts that have been brewing (or percolating if you prefer your blog non-alcoholic) in my mind for several months collided with my mouth and my frustration began to begin take shape in audible format.  The conversation didn’t go too deep or too long and I was left with a head full of revelation or rant and so here I come to drop it off.  

Many of you may be aware that I have spent 20 hours or so a week over the past few months working at a Christian bookstore.  It has provided me a different look at the Christian world then I ever really paid attention to before.  What I have seen is the industry of the cross.  An industry where Thomas Kinkade paints and the name of Jesus and the implement of his death is plastered on everything from key chains and bumper stickers to flashlights and children’s foam tic-tac-toe games.  

As I have become more familiar with the “Jesus Junk” we sell I can’t help but see a strong contrast between the church I know and the church I read about in scripture and early history books.  We in America (and maybe elsewhere) have created our own little Jesus “bubble” where we are, for the most part, segregated from the main population of non-believers.  We have our own TV stations, our own movies, our own bookstores, our own version of “holy” Apples to Apples and “holy” tic-tac-toe games.  We have created a world where we are normal and this world is safe, secure and has all the amenities for a comfortable and assured existence.  

This seems to me in start contrast to the world of the early disciples who ventured boldly into the heart of the unsaved, who embraced discomfort and danger out of a sheer desire to see souls saved.  They would gladly trade freedom and even life for the Gospel of Christ to be advanced.

I wonder what their take on our Christian sub-culture would be.  Would they think foam cross tic-tac-toe was cute or a mockery of the symbol of such great pain and suffering on our behalf?  Would they be glad to know that thousands of people meet together every week or be heartbroken that despite every advantage and freedom we possess the church in America is steadily declining in numbers? 

The fact is church has been infused with the same “ME” centric worldview as the rest of society and we have created a community that makes us feel safe and normal.  It is not wonder that churches seem to be more concerned with continuing their programming and meeting their budgets than being a light to the world.  

Do you ever wonder what would happen if we Christians couldn’t not open our mouths without speaking the Gospel?  What if we were so overcome with the truth of the cross that we dove headlong into every dark corner of our community, braving whatever discomfort and dangers may exist because that was the only way we could think of to respond?  

Now before some of you get your undies in a bunch and feel the need to defend Christian bookstores everywhere let me say I don’t think all things in the Christian community are bad.  I believe most ideas came about in an attempt to be more Christ like.  I just feel that the side effect of much of what we created for God has infringed upon our ability and desire to fulfill the great commission.  

I also say these things knowing I am absolutely part of the problem.  I have failed in presenting the gospel, at feeding the poor, at serving the needy.  But tonight my heart is genuinely broken that the gift of the cross has been reduced to a cheap marketing ploy to sell merchandise.  It’s as if the cross that Christ chose to carry was used to build walls to keep us safe from the wolves and we have ceased to venture out for lost sheep.

Something about all this just doesn’t feel right.


1 Comment so far
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I hear you. And I think that sometimes we Christians lose sight of the goal and the call to share the gospel with others. Sometimes we think wearing a cross necklace counts as sharing the gospel and proclaiming our beliefs, when really it’s about relationship and praying with a friend or sharing our story. Well-said, as always.

Comment by Shannon

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