July 20, 2011 1 Comment
“I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering”
Chan, Francis. Crazy Love. 66
I would add to this by saying that most people have never considered what Christ has to say completely because they have never seen anyone who has followed literally the words of Christ completely. Such is the state of Christianity that it has morphed into something so insular, as opposed to something that is fundamental so outgoing. The calling of the Christian is as an ambassador of Christ in this world–if the ambassadors only know fragments of the Kingdom they represent, then how are they to represent an infinite God? Finitely?
It is difficult to step out where no one has tread before. And here, I think that it is the neglect of history that has prevented us from stepping out far. In all the saints, you would find people that have walked the path that God has called and have excelled so through the Holy Spirit. All the same, you would find saints who have fallen away and been brought up to accomplish great works which God has predestined for them to do. It is encouraging for sure to read of the same Spirit of these dwelling inside of myself.
Sometimes I wonder why I am not something more. I have all these resources and have undeniably been blessed beyond measure in my life. I have nothing to be discontented about, I am attending college and do not lack money for my needs. Yet, why am I no richer in faith than any of the Christians before me? Why am I not poorer in Spirit than any of the saints that have walked this earth earlier?
I watch videos like this, and I wonder if that is all Christianity is to most people.
Take note that when I say American Christianity, I am referring to anywhere where Christ is not preached. New Zealand Christianity is in a worse place than American Christianity in a different kind of way. In fact, I don’t know any point in time in history where the church has not been filled with sinners that are liable to walk off from the straight and narrow path at any point in time. We can see many examples of these in history, and they are perhaps the more well-known Christians of history.
But I take comfort in the small stories of people that have been handed down through the ages as small exceptions that God has raised up to keep His church alive in times of oppression. I use the word oppression very loosely, how weak our faith is, to compare our present troubles to saints of ages past.
What Francis Chan says is right, looking at American Christianity I would conclude that we are a rotten lot. But look at Christ living a perfect life and ultimately dying on the cross and we see what Christianity truly is. Look at the what Holy Spirit has accomplished through the broken vessel of humanity and look at God orchestrating the wonderfulness of human existence–only then can we see what real New Testament Christianity looks like, not what we may not see in the church today.