Friday, June 30, 2006

From what we don't do to what we do do...

Recently I've been doing some thinking and processing a thought that's been going around in my head. I've been spending a bit of time with a group of young people in this community who do not go to church. I know that if i asked them to define a 'Christian' they would tell me that a Christian is someone who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't swear, doesn't have sex before marriage and goes to church. It really makes me sad and frustrated that we (Christians) are defined by what we DO NOT DO. I mean how rare is that? What other context do you define something by what it is not?! If i asked you to describe Bono you wouldn't say 'well he's NOT a doctor and he's NOT fat and he HASN'T got blond hair'! But yet it seems we as Christians are described by the things we supposedly do not do. Sadly the only description attached as something we DO is 'go to church'.

What does Jesus say when He describes what a follower of Christ should be like. He tells us to feed the hungry, give the thirsty a drink, give money to the poor, visit the sick and imprisoned, help the downtrodden of society, LOVE GOD AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR. He doesn't focus on what we shouldn't do but on the things we should be doing.

I've just finished reading a great book by Rob Bell called Velvet Elvis, I'd definitely recommend it. Do you ever read a book and feel like the author has just been reading your mind?! Here's what he has to say about being a Christian:
'It is not about what you don’t do. The point is becoming more and more the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created.'
At the end of the day people say what they see and they believe what they experience from their contact with Christians, and no amount of me or anyone else telling them they are wrong is going to change their opinions. We need as a church, as the body of Christ, as an army of Christians (that means everyone) to start doing the stuff Jesus tells us to do and impacting people's lives and our communities. Then people might really begin to experience faith in action and so change their definitions. I mean if we don't do this then are we not all just goats? I don't know about you but i'm not so keen on what happens to the goats in Matthew 25.

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