Monday, July 20, 2009

They Like Jesus

These are a list of chapter titles from Dan Kimball's book They Like Jesus But Not the Church, which I heard mentioned in a worship service recently. His book is about impressions that non-Christians have regarding American Christians, and is written to help us to correct problems so that we can have a better image in the world.

1. The church is an organized religion with a political agenda.

2. The church is judgmental and negative.

3. The church is dominated by males and oppresses females.

4. The church is homophobic.

5. The church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.

6. The church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.

Please pay attention to these six statements. Each one of them is a lie that the world tells about Christians in order to produce false guilt, with the goal of getting us to compromise our witness and be unfaithful to God. Every one of them. The goal is to get us to back off from a stand that we have taken in righteousness, witnessing to God's will for His creation, so that the world can go more quickly towards sin, death and destruction.

Can you recognize that these slanders all have to do with the primary fronts-of-attack by the world on the church and God in this age? The world hates the image of God and kills it in the womb at the rate of 40+ million times per year. America is one of the few places on earth where the church is involved politically to carry out a real mercy ministry in attempt to stop it. The world hates the image of Christ and His Church as shown in complementarian heterosexual marriages, and some parts of the American Church are still faithful to testify to God's character in this. The world hates Jesus and does not want to acknowledge that He reaches out to the lost clearly through His Scriptures that there is no other way of salvation.

Christian, do you see that these lies are designed to get you to stop being faithful to Him? Can you see that the world wants the clear teaching of God in His Bible to be silenced? And can you understand that their most potent weapon is to make you feel shame and false guilt before men? To manipulate the deep desire we all have to be liked, applauded, approved?

My question to you then is this- are you willing to wear these lies faithfully with him? Are you willing to be slandered and hated by men as our Lord Jesus was? Just how much do you love the approval and applause of men? Are you willing to rejoice when men speak evil of you, for so they persecuted the prophets that were before you?

It may be that you or your church needs to do better, and that there is a real falling short in one of these areas. In fact it may even be likely. Please wait until God reveals that to you from His Word, and take the course of correction that He reveals to you. But you have to know that in our modern age, His course of correction will still require you being willing to be hated and despised by men for His name's sake. And He will require faithful Christians to fight and die on these fronts.

May God give us ears to hear and hearts of strength.

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