September 8, 2011 marked the 20th anniversary of accepting Jesus. There were good, bad, and ugly moments during these two decades. Times I responded like a robot, times I spit on all of it and walked away.
In the thousands of church services and all the different denominations I’ve been a part of, I find myself now asking better questions. Questions and the reactions generated by questions interest me more now than answers. I’ve asked myself all these questions and now I ask you your opinion/feelings.
-What if Christians apologized to people of every faith and lifestyle for our words and judgmental behavior, instead of trying to “convert” someone to our side?
-What if we stopped trying to “save” people and got out of God’s way?
-What if we went to where the people were instead of expecting them to come to our church building. In particular, what if we went to where people who didn’t look like us lived, in our own communities, to help meet a need/work for the common good.
-Instead of telling people how wrong they are, what if we were honest and transparent with our own faults and shortcomings?
-What if we embraced people who had a moral failure or “fell from grace” instead of judging, condemning, or writing blog posts about them?
-What if we shut our mouths and let our hands do the preaching by helping to meet a need and/or doing for the common good?
-What if we stopped referring to our buildings as “churches?” The building isn’t the church, the people are. It is a community.
-Furthermore, what if we focused on His face and less on His hands?
-What if we cancelled service one Sunday morning and went into the community to serve an help?
-What if I was more concerned with the man in the above picture than the condition the church building is in. Why does it seem easier to rally a bunch of people to renovate and restore a building than help someone. Even deeper, why do I assume he is homeless? I passed out at a church once, because I was sick.
-What if we were less concerned about a preacher “trying to take our money” and more concerned with giving gladly and trusting God with our money?
-What if we loved people for who they are, regardless if they fit into our personal belief system?
-What if a group of white people went into a non-white community in their own city/town to do good and vice versa? It seems like it is easier to go to another country than to go across town. People are hurting, hopeless, in need right here, from the “hood” to the mansions of decadence.
-What if we talked about the entirety of the gospel and not just bits and pieces? The gospel doesn’t start with Jesus on the cross or with Adam and Eve. It starts: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…
-Why don’t I shut up and start doing something about all this? You are absolutely right. I have failed at all of these at some point in my faith career.
I would love to hear your opinions/thoughts on these things.
[photo by auntjojo]