There is a cosmic disconnect concerning who and what God has called His followers to be and how those followers are received or experienced in the world today. In interview after interview it seems most people are at least okay with Jesus, but when it comes to Christians the tone changes quickly.
Words like: judgmental, narrow, mean, ugly, weak, deceived, cultish, waring, angry, irrelevant are just some of the verbal bombs thrown around. Two bumper stickers say it well:
When people go out of their way to purchase a bumper sticker, and actually plaster that thing on their car, there is definitely a conversation waiting to happen. I have seen so many of the bumper stickers saying basically the same thing…I think we have been invited to engage in some dialog that is far overdue. The Chasm that exists between the perceptions of Christians and non Christians can definitely be narrowed if we would be willing to discuss the reasons for the angst that exists.
Check out this video that I was hoping to play for those of you who were at the Journey Experience @ Snoqualmie Valley Alliance on Sunday, but I didn't have enough time…and look closely at the end and you will see the way to turn the perceptions around…
Gandhi said a couple things that are powerful interludes to the conversation concerning how people feel about Christians:
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Jesus emphasized this over and over again in his teachings…His followers are called to be salt and light in this earth and to the peoples of this earth. At is most rudimentary meaning, Jesus is saying that we are to be people that add value, add flavor and God-zest everywhere we go. His people should not suck life from others via judgmentalism and anger, but rather through love, interact with people in such a way that their soul is enlarged, and they begin to taste, through your love and life, how good God is.
We are called to be light. Light is a guide. Light removes the fear of the dark or the unknown. As light we are to reveal the artistry and color schemes of God to people who have been thinking that the darkness was all that there was to life…guess what, then people will flood to God.
When Jesus said "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…"He nailed what it takes to live a God-saturated life that would cause people to rip all of those negative bumper stickers off of their cars and pitch them in the closest garbage can.
Honestly, if followers of Jesus simply invested in practicing this principle, to be aware in each moment of the day that we are called to "do to others" those things we long to receive in this life…then people would experience something rather different, fresh, and tasting of God.
This means our motivation must always be love…not ego
This means that we understand our lives are portals God uses to reveal Himself to people.
Let's eliminate the need to produce bumper stickers like this because our love is so great, and God becomes so real through our pursuit of Justice, Compassion, and humility, that even the thought of a chasm between Jesus and His followers would become laughable.