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What do I/we support?


Here is another tough critique of the church in America–actually, this is a critique that could be leveled on the church in the Philippines and in many other places I suspect.  Remember the old saying, “I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, I don’t go with girls who do!”  In talking with a Catholic here one day about evangelicals or “born agains”, the peson said, I know, “You don’t go to church, you don’t believe in images and you don’t believe in Mary.”  Well, following are two excerpts from “What are we For?” by Robert Lynn on the Breakpoint website.

I fear that in America, the evangelical church is largely known for what it is against. Its image in the culture is one that seems negative and angry. The result is that the culture seems to be quite clear about what we’re against but seems to have little understanding of what we are for. Is it the case that we have failed to adequately explain the Gospel to our culture—to define and explain what it means to live positively in God’s world? And so a question I put to myself and to you, to my church and your church: Do those around us see us and see our churches as merely being against something or do they also see us as being for something?

If you want to read more about how evangelicals are seen today, read

Unchristian: What a new generation really thinks about Christianity…and why it matters

by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.  David Mays gives a summary of the book on his website. Here are the concluding words from UnChristian, courtesy of David Mays.

9 From UnChristian to Christian

How will we respond? (205)  Four suggestions:

· Respond with the right perspective (like Jesus.  He considered the below-the-surface issues.)

· Connect with people.  Jesus influenced people through relationships and friendships.

· Be creative.  Jesus attracted people in creative ways and connected with the heart.  Look for new stories, parables and ways of communicating.

· Serve people.  Cultivate deep concern and sensitivity to outsiders.  Learn to listen.

· Live a lifestyle of compassion.

Afterward

“Putting the needs of others above your own, loving your neighbor, doing good to those who would do evil to you, exercising humility, suffering with those less fortunate, and doing it all with a pure heart is nearly impossible.  But it is Jesus’s model and call.” (225)

“The perceptions of outsiders will change only when Christians strive to represent the heart of God in every relationship and situation.” (226)

Back to the Robert Lyon’s article on the Breakpoint website

We are not simply against lies, we are for truth; we are not simply against evil, we are for goodness; we are not simply against ugliness, we are for beauty. And why? Because we love and worship One who is True, Good, and Beautiful. And this One who is True and Good and Beautiful is the Triune God who calls us to be for the world because He is for the world.

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