I realized today what my spiritual life has been missing.
No, no… my problem isn’t a lack of discipline or a hypocritical lifestyle.
Those are just the symptoms.
My problem is that I don’t have a Christian tablet. I have a heathen iPad.
I saw this article and wondered what in the world we Christians are doing sometimes.
Seriously. “In the world, what are we doing?”
We live such neat little Christian lives, where we only listen to Christian radio or read from Christian media sources. Our Christian leaders in church and on Christian websites tell us what to think about all the stuff going on in the world. We can get together at our Christian coffee shop in the Christian version of Borders and compare Christian notes about the best-selling Christian fiction or self-help books. We’ll have Christian sports nights where we get together with all our Christian buddies and throw a football around. Maybe we’ll have Christian movie night, while the kidlets are in the back room watching VeggieTales (the good Christian ones from the old days with the Bible verses).
On the weekend, we’ll have Christian services (the good folks go to morning and evening service if available). And there’s the Wednesday night groups with good Christian activities for the kids. Don’t forget the Women’s Bible Study on Thursday morning and the Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturdays. Oh, and I can’t hang out Thursday night… Christian band practice, so we can jam to Christian music at Sunday’s service. But don’t miss the Friday night meeting where we talk about Christian politics and saving America and how candidates measure up in their support of Christian policies. (We won’t tell you how to vote. We’ll just tell you how they voted, and you can decide for yourselves at that point.)
Ok, I honestly don’t think any of those things, taken by themselves, are bad… even the political aspect. I’m no fan of the “Christian nation” idea, but if people are actually learning some of what is going on in the political realm, I think there’s a net gain. If people are being mis-informed to support a particular agenda, then that gets back to my point with all this.
Someone will ask, with the best intentions, “What about holiness?”
We are absolutely called to be holy. We can’t ignore that. But we’re also told to be “in the world yet not of it.”
Too often we solve the “not of it” by being “not in it.”
The Christian brands of everything are not going to make us “in the world yet not of it.” Though they may even be good competitive products, buying them doesn’t do anything for my spirituality.
If we mirror the culture around us–if we do almost everything people outside the church do, except we call our activities “Christian,” then I think we’re missing something important.
We can build up a fort to keep out the world.
We can isolate ourselves from everyone not us and insulate ourselves with Christian everything. We can hunker down like a family in the basement during a storm, trying to hang on in a culture some feel is steering farther and farther from traditional values. “Don’t go outside… it’s dangerous out there. In here, it’s safe. It’s Christian.”
Or we can build a home that welcomes the weary and refreshes their souls.
We could open our doors and our hearts. We could make our churches, our homes, and our very lives into places of refuge, where people can unload their burdens and find compassionate support.
We could show people we care less about cultural or political or religious views that divide us, and more about the person who has the views.
Instead of judging the person in trouble, we could extend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. We could roll up our sleeves and get dirty while meeting practical needs… not as some outreach program where we wash your car or give you a meal after we preach the gospel to you,
We could give someone a meal because they’re hungry, they need it, and we care about them more than the number of converts or new visitors our church gets this month.
Are we going to find out some ugly things about the world and life? Yes.
Are we going to deal with difficult situations where there are no real easy answers, no clear-cut Scripture verses we can parrot at the person? Yes.
Are our beliefs and our views going to be challenged? Absolutely. We might see a whole new side of the people we thought were against us. We might learn a completely different side of a political or cultural issue. We could be exposed to new thoughts we haven’t had before.
Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Everyone knows how dangerous thoughts can be.
I need someone to tell me which are the Christian ones I’m allowed to have.
Maybe there’s an app on the Edifi for that.