Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Person at a Time

I just started reading a book, recommended by my sister, called Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. I can't say whether or not this book is worth reading, as I have just started it, and am only in chapter 2. I can say however, that I am intrigued by the subtitle and topic of the book.

"What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity

...And Why It Matters."

So far, this book has been used as confirmation to what I have been thinking, feeling, and sensing for a while now.

Many people no longer see Christians as representatives of a loving God who sees them as the object of His affection.

Sad.

Heartbreaking, actually.

No, according to the research done for Unchristian, what many people have come to think is that we are hypocritical, insensitive and judgemental.

It is not even close to my hearts cry to impact anyone in those ways.

On page 26 paragraph 3 states that there is growing hostility toward Christians and that it is a reflection of what people feel they get from us.

QUOTE: "They say their aggression simply matches the over sized opinions and egos of Christians. One outsider put it this way: "Most people I meet assume that Christian means very conservative, entrenched in their thinking, antigay, antichoice, angry, violent, illogical, empire builders; they want to convert everyone, and they generally cannot live peacefully with anyone who doesn't believe as they believe."

WOW! Is this the message that the church is sending to the world?

I may be prolife, but I am not antipeople who disagree with me.

Nor do I want to be seen that way..

This book is not written from an opinion only standpoint, there have been countless hours of research and interviewing that has gone into this project.

I am intrigued. Captured, if you will.

I only hope that I will be further enlightened, and forever changed.

Jesus said "I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another." John 13:34

According to the research in this book, and from what I have seen with my own eyes and heart at times...

This is, much of the time, not the message others are receiving from us.

I do realize that Jesus told us to expect persecution. But, I do not believe that this, is all about that.

Some of it, maybe, but not entirely.

I am asking God daily to give me a fresh revelation of His love for me.

This is the only way we will be able to love others as He does.

This is the only way to show people that we represent a love, not a religion.

We can change this.

One person at a time...

Jesus will show us how.

Who has God placed in your path to love today?









16 comments:

Heather of S-A-M said...

Daveda!

I need to read that book! Next one you should pick up is "Holy Fool." It's an incredible read about being that 'fool for Christ.' In the book he talks about becoming that person or that fellowship where prostitutes, Pharisee's, and guilt tinged sinners would feel welcome. And of course... What it takes to get there. Well, what characteristics- Radical acceptance, Radical Hospitality, and darnit I always forget the last one! An that's probably the one I need to work on don't you know. heh he. Really great read! For me probably one of my fav's next to JP.

Now don't be too shocked that i'm here on the blogs again. :o) I even made a post today. Shocking but true.

Wish you a great day/ week!

XO, Heather

Denise said...

Wow, sounds like we all need to read, and learn from that book.

RCUBEs said...

I really believe in "actions speak better than words." I had posted something about being "doers of the Word" this morning. What turns people away I think is the way Christians share their faith. Didn't Peter warn us about this? "Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a GENTLE and RESPECTFUL way." [1Peter 3:15,16].

I remember Gandhi's quote: "If all Christians acted like Christ, the whole world would be Christian..." Ghandi said he had no problem with Christ, it was Christians that put him off. [because of their actions].

Can you imagine if those Christians sharing their faith with their actions were seen as true ambassadors of Christ by Gandhi? India wouldn't be the same...Sounds like a great book. Blessings to you.

christy rose said...

Daveda,
What a book!!! It is so sad that the world sees us in such a hypocritical, unaccepting way. But that is because that is the way we thought that God thought of us unless we acted like we lived perfectly. When we begin to understand The uncondional love and acceptance og God then we will be able to display it.
Lord, Reveal your heart to us! So we can show the world what you are truly like.

Kee said...

Daveda,
The book sounds so interesting. I may have to pick it up if I ever get the time to read.
I grew up going to a lot of different churches and I found a lot of christians who were just as you described. So as a young adult I walked away from church and from God because I thought that was what Christians were judgemental and hypocrital and I wanted nothing to do with it.

I'm so glad that later I realized being a christian was just the opposite and I came running back to the arms of Christ.

Loren said...

Sounds like a good book and one we can all learn from. Our hearts (believers) have to return to the Father! to HIS ways.

Some of these exact issues are like listening to my Dad...."Christians are judgemental, narrowminded and hypocritical etc." and it breaks my heart.

Lord help us all! Change our hearts, let us love and not judge~ give us a fresh revelation of your Word so that when we judge we will realize that it will be done in that manner right back at us and let us stop it right then and there!! Let us see other through your eyes not our own!

Blessings to you Daveda and thanks for sharing this. I look forward to hearing more!

Heart2Heart said...

Daveda,

I like what you have written so far about the book and I believe for some Christians it does speak volumes. There are those that are the very definition that the book claims, I have met them and even though I understand their position, I don't agree with how they treat people who aren't like them. I guess you could call them Christian extremists. They take everything the Bible says at full face value!

I wish to be more like Jesus and be loving and compassionate to those in a dark and hurting world to show them through a life of examples that this is the life that they want. Ultimately the choice remains theirs.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Warren Baldwin said...

This is a hard book (I have it). Does the world really see US in this way? I hope not, but I'm afraid in too many cases it may be true. I've heard stories about immoral people being afraid of going to church for fear of being looked down upon and judged. I know a case of a prostitute going to church and after a few weeks a member asking her not to come back b/c the church doesn't condone such behavior. I understand the member - does he have a teen son who may be a bit too intrigued by the presence of this woman, and that concerns him? But, he is also wrong, b/c if this woman is truly wanting to find God and change her life, where else can she go? This is the place! But this particular woman will probably never think that again. And think how many sermons you may have heard that were about money: giving more. I've seen those sermons drive members away. That book is a challenge! Thanks for discussing it.

Rhonda said...

IT sounds like a truly interesting book. Thanks for sharing the info. I'm always somewhat guarded when talking with people about religion as there are so many views even amongst our own family. I love the open discussions as I think there is always something more and new to learn or think about.

Daveda said...

You have all left some really wonderful comments on this post and I LOVE it!

I can admit that I am guilty of MANY of the things that could probably be found on a list of "things that turn people away form Jesus"

However, I also know that the more I realize God's love and truth for me, that His favor is upon me, and that I am righteous because of JESUS, and not my own self effort or self produced righteousness... the better I am able to love and accept others as He has loved a accepted me!

Ruth said...

No wonder I've always had such an identity crisis as a Christian.

Beth E. said...

Thanks for your kind words on my blog, Daveda. Part of what has had me so upset is church politics. It's not about US, it's about HIM...JESUS.

Now, I read your post. I haven't read the book, but what you wrote has intrigued me.

Blessings,
Beth

Amy Deardon said...

Hi Daveda, I read that book! There is much truth that Christians can be superior, unforgiving, and hypocritical. We must so carefully examine ourselves for motives and feelings of superiority. I think also, though, that our culture pushes an *anything goes* mentality and doesn't want to hear any negative comments. The gospel is offensive.

A problem in our culture is a pervasive sense of *no absolute truth* as an unexamined assumption. If Christianity is *true* for you that's great, but I can believe something totally different and that's fine. Go figure.

Blessings from the Reeds said...

Thank you so much for the well wishes! I am excited about this book. I think we all could use it! Wow, thank you. Blessings~Rob

Angela said...

I am asking God daily to give me a fresh revelation of His love for me.

amen sis..I have been praying this for over a year now. To walk in His love completely.

Irritable Mother said...

I bet that book is going to be an eye-opener!
Today, He has placed my children in my path to love. And I surely do not want them to get a hypocritical view of Jesus when they look at me!!!