We throw the word around pretty freely. As a noun, an adjective, a way of life. But what I continually see is "Christian" and "Christianity" both ridiculed, misused, laughed at, wielded, toted, put on a pedestal, and also become weapons.
My pastor is working his way through the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation as he prepares to lead us into the book of Acts.
I am more than a bit anxious.
See I know we are currently not the church of Christ we are called to be. Because I am not the daughter of God I a called to be.
I soooo get that I am a work in progress, I get that more than you know.
What makes me anxious is the willingness I have or wont have when really put to the test in life - of truly saying I am willing to give myself completely over to the Spirit. Do I truly want to see what He may or may not call me to do, and who He may be asking me to be?
I know that this time will be a huge catalyst for some challenging things to consider as a body of believers and as individuals.
I hope we "Christians" are ready. Ready to see how much we have to change. Ready to experience either so much more of the Holy Spirit we will feel overcome by the weight of it, or ready to see it move on because we aren't willing to see our failure at being the bride we are.
Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!
I love my church and God's hand is on it without a doubt. But as my pastor has said many times, God can remove His hand of blessing too. And He will if we aren't willing to ditch the American label we have created of "Christianity" and become the church of Acts we are called to be - living and loving completely by and in the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:44-47 All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What if it was our unity in love and life as believers of Christ that set us apart and not a label we have created?
What if we were so in tune to His Spirit, and loved and served one another so well that we needed no label of "Christianity"?
What if people weren't drawn to a "Christian" and our version of the drop in and drop out mission trip, our old school VBS mode of operation, our recipe for conversion that rarely includes the follow up of then actually doing life together, by our "Christian lingo", or the recited evangelism scriptures we have rehearsed time and time again that come with no previous real conversations, by the track handed out as we canvas neighborhoods only to retreat to our own where we never talk to our neighbors on either side - but they were drawn to being welcomed onto our front porches for friendship, that they were shown compassion through us just being real about our own lives, our own struggles, our own experience of being loved well by God because we decided that there was something to the freedom of living with and for a God willing to go to such lengths for us, by our true concern for human life around us, by our lack of judgement of them, by the fact we actually find reasons to respect them and their differences from us instead of "pitying" them - what if they were drawn to God by being loved by us because we honestly decide we are gonna love and see as He loves and sees?
What would happen if we approached a relationship without even using the word Christian, Christianity, redemption, repentance, judgement, or eternity - and instead we earned the right to eventually go there by loving them so well that they couldn't help but ask us out of an overwhelming curiosity to tell them what makes us different?
What if they didn't call us "Christians"?
What if they just called us "friends"?