Thursday, February 10, 2005

Are we light or lite?

My mom has this really cool lamp in her living room. It's very ornate with these wooden squares that have a design on each square and then are connected with wire to made a really cool lamp shade. It looked awesome in the store...very beautiful and put together--even ornate. Trouble is, we got it home and the thing doesn't give off much light. It was a great idea someone had. Just not practical. The little squares are all so tightly woven together that the purpose of the lamp seems to have been overridden. Even at night, it puts out little to no usable light. Hmmmm. I wonder how many of us are like that lamp?

We like to position ourselves, build a nice, clean world of church and family, and follow all the rules. However, sometimes I think we lose our aroma. We're so concerned with presentation that we aren't filling. Have you ever eaten at those really expensive restaurants where the presentation is great and after 2 bites it's gone? That's so annoying for people like me who love to eat!!

I don't what it will take for us to stop caring about the appearance and get to the core issues. I know Jesus told the Pharisees, "Your lips speak of me, but your hearts are far from me." Have we lost our ability to shine? Do we still taste like salt, or have we lost our saltiness? Do we have a voice that's trustworthy to the world? Can people really see Jesus in us or are we the biggest stumbling block to their belief in Jesus?

1 comment:

Fajita said...

Good string of metaphors. I've heard the term "Christian ghetto," a lot lately and I think this is at least in part what you are talking about.

The Christian ghetto, as I understand it, is that network of relationships that all center on the Christian religion. Furthermore, there are few or no meaningful relationships that extend out of that network of relationships. So, even though everyone in the world is not just like you, you think they are(or should be) because the only people you ever associate with are people of your kind.

We need to get out of the ghetto. And, experience tells me that just sitting around hoping things will be different does not make a difference.

Escaping the Christian Ghetto:

1. Survey your relational (not necessarily geographical) neighborhood.
2. Determine whether or not you associate with people of another kind in any significant way.
3. Assess your level of ghetto-ness. (Low scores for most people being just like you, high scores for associating with a wide variety of people).
4. If your "score" is low (many evangelical Christnas will have lower scores), then label that a problem that needs correction.
5. Intentionally seek ways to develop relationships with people not of your religious kind, eceonomic kind, ethnic kind etc.
6. When you come into contact with those people, absolutely refuse to convert them.
7. GASP! Be good news to them. Give them lots and lots of experience of your goodness. Your faith will come through, and you won't come across as peddling religion. Now, if they start asking you a bunch of spiritual questions, answer them or wonder with them. If they give you permission to ask them questions, go ahead.
8. Never let the relationship hinge on their answers, their questions, or their conclusions. Loving someone for the sake of loving them, even if they do not "come to Jesus," is not evangelsitic failure. It is following Jesus.