People so often distrust christianity and through that, christians, because of the judgement they grew up with. And it’s true, I also grew up feeling the judgement, and the fear of being “left behind”. Any sin that one was caught in was something that drove a wedge between God and man. There was no grace. There was little love. So society took over, and labeled us as “intolerant”. Many of my friends left the faith because they couldn’t handle the pressure of being “a good christian”.
So, those of us who stayed in the pews, many of us numb and disillusioned, were there out of tradition and guilt. We read our bibles, taught Sunday school, and tried our best to not preach intolerance. We wanted to preach love and acceptance, because that is what we wanted so badly ourselves. A few revivals swept through and infused us with fresh hope, but it didn’t seem to make much of an affect in the society around us.
Well, now we live in a world that hates religion and uses Jesus as a swear word. We also see pastors renouncing their faith, and entire church groups dissolving. Christians have just become another market group for someone who wants success…and we have all the paraphernalia to fit into mainstream society.
So churches (not all) try every gimmick they can to lure people back, but people don’t want to hear about sin and accountability, they want to feel good about their secrets…and that includes the people sitting in the pews. They want the church to accept their lifestyles and to just understand the “fact” that times have changed, and the bible and it’s teachings couldn’t possibly have known what society would be like now. So, the church has become that for many, a safe place to sin.
Well, gimmicks don’t work in the long run. Our society is too smart for that. We have been marketed to, and pandered to for too long. So what does it want?
But what people DO want is LOVE. But, do they want it at the expense of TRUTH?
They want honesty, but do they want it if it isn’t “their truth”?
They crave GRACE, but the kind of grace that lets the sin continue.
Why is it that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions now? Think about it. They serve a dead prophet and his teachings with a fanaticism that shocks us.
What? Can there be such a thing? A belief system that brings such passion into someone?
And that is what it is. It’s a PASSION for something that society craves. We are tired, overworked, stressed, and apathetic. We want something to be passionate about.
So, where can they find all of these things?
I have found all of that at the feet of Jesus. The unbelievable love has stirred such a passion inside of me. (And for those of you that see my personal facebook page know that something is different.) 🙂
He isn’t judgmental, but He speaks the truth. He gives grace to those who keep struggling. Even when the same struggles last a lifetime. He gives unconditional love, and just waits for us to accept it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
I can see the tides turning. People are going to be so tired of what they are hearing and seeing soon, and the only way to look will be UP.
Psalm 121:I-2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
It is my hope and prayer that when the people look for Jesus, and I am the only representative they know, that they would see love, grace, AND truth. It really isn’t an either/or question, they go hand in hand…
(ps…pic of mountain is mine, taken in Tanzania)