Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And They Shall Know You By...

My small group spent a night listening to lectures by Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio. In his lecture, he played with the notion along these lines:

“What if, instead of what we are currently known for, Christians were known for something that is more an extension of Biblical principles?”

For example, he wondered what it would be like if we were known as the people that share meals together all the time; or the people that were constantly inviting others in to share meals.

He wasn’t going for earth shattering; or even improbable. But practical – how does the world see us based on our actions? And what if instead of the name we've earned we earned a different reputation…

Another of Ken’s examples: What if we were known as the people where the generations got along? Where people would say, “Their young people actually seem to enjoy hanging out their old people. How strange!”

I immediately thought of Genesis, and wondered if we could someday be known as the people that take care of our planet, almost as if we were assigned stewardship.

I stumbled on a quote from one of my pastors, Kim Dorr (also an agent):

"When somebody comes out as a Christian, there is this immediate stereotype of what falls into place behind that. 'Well, you must be right wing, and you must be Republican, and you must be X, Y and Z.' And that is really what so many of us in entertainment now want to redirect. When somebody says, 'I'm a Christian,' what we want the culture to hear is, 'I point toward beauty, truth and grace, rather than these political agendas.'"

Suppose you would already guess that I am a fan of the idea that someday (ah… someday!) Christians would be known as the supporters of art and beauty.

“Those wacky religious people, they’re constantly promoting art and culture. How weird!”

So, if you could change the behavior of the religious culture (mine or yours), what would you hope it could be known for?

Just my thoughts,



Linds said...

Fun - today we had a really revolutionary chapel message at our high school. The speaker didn't tell the kids not to have sex, or not to do drugs, or not to believe the lies of the liberal media. He didn't tell them they were hypocrites, or that they weren't on fire enough to be real Christians. He didn't tell them how bad they were or how much they don't appreciate what they have and don't give away what they've been given.

He did something that, for the first time in the four years I've been there, made every kid sit up and listen during chapel. He told him that God loved them, deeply, inexplicably, unconditionally. I've never seen the kids so moved, so interested.

And they'll know we are Christians...

Omar P. said...

I would want non-Christians to know us as the people who lived our lives moment to moment, pursuing acts of radical trust.

My congregation has been working on this concept, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. But when people actually do take big leaps of faith based on active listening to the Spirit of God it is (a) very strange to secular eyes and (b) amazing.

"Who are these crazy people? And what voices are they listening to?"

Matt Singley said...

"Christians? Oh man...those are the people that truly care about me, that love me unconditionally. I love those people!"