I have noticed a ‘trait’ developing over the last year or so on facebook that has caused me to question. I realise as well that this blog post may well be one of those posts where I get a backlash … but hey some people will say don’t provoke a reaction with what you write then why write!
The trait I have noticed is the status updates of Christian people. Quite frankly I find it difficult to see how Christians square what they believe with what they say in some of their status’. Without wanting to give the impression that I am writing out of a thinking that I am better than others (as those that know me know that I am very obviously not!) I do wonder what is happening and how some people seem to be able to compartmentalise faith and life.
Some examples that have stuck with me over the last few months include status’ that range from wanting people who used to be friends to come to harm because they have upset someone, to obscene racism, to jealousy over the success of a rival, to comments along the lines of ‘Winehouse deserved to die!’
I am not ashamed to say that some of those status comments have drawn me to tears. Where is the compassion, or the love, or the good news or the empathy that just one reading of any of the gospels flows continually from the mouth of Jesus. What do people looking in think about the Christian faith when they see such stuff?
Jesus calls us to love our neighbour, to turn the other cheek, not to seek revenge, to walk the extra mile, to sell what we have and give to the poor, to join with him in making the world a better place …. and we could go on. Too often we seem to be portrayed as judgemental people that want our own narrow way … and I wonder if stuff like this goes towards fuelling that view.
So my question, as it says above is … do Christians think?
As I was considering what or if to write I came across something that Graham found today which seems to resonate with what I am trying to portray… so I have done a cut and paste job below:
If the church were Christian, Jesus would be a model for living, not an object of worship.
If the church were Christian, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness.
If the church were Christian, reconciliation would be valued over judgment.
If the church were Christian, gracious behavior would be more important than right belief.
If the church were Christian, inviting questions would be more important than supplying answers.
If the church were Christian, encouraging personal exploration would be more important than communal uniformity.
If the church were Christian, it would care more about love and less about sex.
If the church were Christian, meeting needs would be more important than maintaining institutions.
If the church were Christian, peace would be more important than power.
If the church were Christian, this life would be more important than the afterlife.
And my second question …. is the church Christian?