Monday, February 15, 2010

Uncompromised Faith

"As Americans, we enter the church with nearly overpowering individualistic inclinations. We come with and cling to expectations and demands that are centered on ourselves. We expect people to talk to and welcome us, but are unwilling to reach out and talk to them. WE have a myriad of petty personal preferences that we impose on the church about worship styles, music, carpet color and the like. We grade the pastor on whether or not he has met our needs through his sermon or kept us attentive. And we certainly aren't interested in anyone getting in our business! We don't humbly submit to one another. We refuse church discipline. We argue, gossip, and divide over inconsequential issues. We attack those outside our traditions, doctrinal convictions and theological framework; we rarely listen to those with whom we disagree. Often our attitudes and actions toward each other are shameful and bring disgrace to the name of Chirst - and we frequently do so in the face of the unbelieving world. We simply do not fulfill this essential part of God's mission because we fail to demonstrate the reign of God within this authenticating community.

If we don't get this right, our service will remain indistinguishable from any other, and our proclamation of the risen Christ will appear shallow and without basis. If we want to overcome our culturalized Christianity to worship and serve the King of kings, we must recover this broader understanding of our mission as Christians in the world. We must learn to properly analyze and intelligently engage the culture and we must interact with each other and the world in a spirit of grace, love and charity. The church in America must repent of it's radical individualism and independence that separates us from the community of Christ and once again humbly submit to one another. This we mustdo if we want the world to know whose disciples we really are!"

Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity by S. Michael Craven


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