Churches today are always talking about how we need to stay relevant. We need to preach the message of the gospels in a way that youth in today’s culture can understand it.
I definitely think the people in the following video took those instructions a little too literally.
When people tell you to stay relevant I’m not sure they meant that we need to refer to God as our n****. Whatever bonus marks that gained for creativity they lost for being offensive. Although I understand what the couple were trying to communicate, maybe, Jesus is our friend the person we hangout with and chill and talk with but this was not an affective means of communication.
Finding a way to turn this rap fiasco around and finding some good in it is a little difficult but there are some truths found in the lyrics. Although you really have to push past the bad beats and the graphic language found in it in order to here any good.
I saw this little meme the other day and I laughed…
Possibly a little too hard at it.
I’ve always believed God has a good sense elf humour and that he would appreciate my good sense of humour also.
Although the image is really funny it made me begin to think harder. Is that all we’ve made Jesus out to be? A symbol that we hang in our cars? Or a tattoo we get on our bodies? A bracelet we wear, or a picture we hang? Is Jesus just a product we’re selling, like we would with any other symbol?
I think that our society has turned Jesus into a profit, something that is sellable. Which works out great for the people selling him. But the problem is we are cheapening Jesus in raising the prices of our products.
Jesus isn’t a knickknack that we can sell or buy. Jesus is so much more than that. Jesus can have no price limit because the work he has done on the cross is… PRICELESS.
I once heard a movie quote that said, “There are only two things worth believing in, God and American Football”.
Now I’m not sure I’d be so bold to say that but I’ll be honest I love God and I do love a good game of American football.
Although the excitement and hype of Tim Tebow has settled down a bit in the past year almost anyone who knows anything about football knows about Tim Tebow. Tim however is probably more known for his statement of faith than he is for his football skills.
Tim made what some might call a bold statement and did not hide his religious views from his teammates or the rest of the world. When he played football he played for God. And he would thank God every time he scored with his signature move.
Well I was watching a SNL skit the other night about Tebow and thought there were some interesting remarks made in it. Specifically how many times there was a comment made about how open Tebow was about praying to Jesus.
It got me thinking about what the Bible says about outward actions of faith. I thought of one specific part of the Bible where Jesus spoke about praying. In Matthew 6:6-7 Jesus says, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Now don’t freak out, I’m not saying Tim Tebow is a hypocrite simply because he prayed in public. All I’m saying is when Jesus would pray he’d go find some solitude, he would withdraw from the crowds, maybe there is something to be learned here. Maybe instead of trying to “prove” we’re christian or try to make a statement about being christian by making sure everyone sees us praying. Maybe it’s our actions of love that make the louder statement.
Something to think about…
A church in Kentucky tried a new tactic to get people to come to church… a free gun give away. It would only cost you…. your life? (Matt 16:25)
The church hosted a steak dinner and had guest speaker Chuck McAlister come and talk. At some point in the evening a dew would take place for 25 lucky winners to take home a gun.
When I first read about this, I was like wait what? The church is doing what? I sat in a little bit of disbelief. But the more I thought about it I was like, well there is nothing really “wrong” about it per se. After all “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. But I think what concerned me more was the report I was listening to about this story. The reporter made a comment about, how does this match up with the teachings of Jesus and how they say to love one another.
Although there is nothing wrong with what the church was doing, they followed all the laws, we need to ensure that the method we are using is not turning away more people than it is gaining.
However with that being said, apparently 1,000 people “gave their lives to Jesus” that night. So although the idea may be controversial it seemed to work. Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from this and begin to think outside the box for new ministry ideas.
Yolo – You Only Live One (But if you do it right, once is enough)
On a talk show in the 70’s Muhammed Ali is asked (what I assumed to be) a simple question, What Are You Going To Do When You Retire. While some may have answered with a (again what I would assume to be) a typical answer like: relax, play golf, enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and so on. Instead Ali responds saying, get ready to meet God. Muhammed Ali expands on this a bit explaining how things like hair, and money are transient, here one moment but can be gone the next. There are no guarantees in life. You may live to be sixty years, you may live to be eighty years or you may die tomorrow, nothing is promised in this life. Ali explains that what God is looking for is how we treat others, sometimes no one else may see it but God sees us.
Immediately after watching this clip I thought of an illustration I saw Francis Chan use in a sermon. Francis Chan uses a rope as an example of our lives in view of eternity and he says the tiny tip at the end is our life here on earth and that determines our existence for eternity. But so many of us get so consumed in planning for the second half of that little tip of the rope instead of planning for eternity.
As Christians we need to start thinking long-term, we need to look beyond this temporary life to the long term life we will have after earth. If we really allowed the fact that life is more than these few years on earth would we live life differently? Would we, as Muhammed Ali said, treat others differently? Does the church need to change how they view and treat others?
Perhaps the church has done a poor job at viewing others the way God views them. God is making a new humanity and as Christians we need to treat others according to the humanity they can have in Jesus, not the attitude they are portraying to us.
Although I do not fully agree with Muhammed Ali, God is not simply looking at how we treat others. But that is a good start. The two greatest commandments are to Love God, and Love People. What difference could we make if Christians started living this way? And if we truly love others would we be more convicted to share the true message of Christ?
We only live once, so do it right the first time. It’s all you get.
In 2006 famous musician, Elton John was quoted saying,
“From my point of view I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it. I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.”
– Elton John, The Observer, November 12, 2006
Elton John points out what a lot of people are thinking. A lot of people think Christians are these hypocrites, who are anti everything and hate all people with different beliefs. And too often we as Christians prove them right.
But is this what Jesus came to say? In a previous post I talked about how the church has been misrepresenting Jesus. Well maybe it’s because even those in the church have misunderstood the message of Jesus. The Bible isn’t simply full of these “cute” stories with good morals, the Bible contains life changing truth. The truth that before the universe ever existed God choose us. God’s love is so great that he wanted humans to experience it, knowing he could not force us to choose his love he created us with a free will. He knew the risk of doing this would mean that some would choose to walk away from his love. Yet he invites us into this relationship, and this adventurous life with him. The best part is that this isn’t limited to the VIP access cards, but this is an open invitation for all people.
These “stories” in the the Bible need to go beyond stories that we hear and become life changing truths to us. When that happens Christian will catch what Jesus and God is all about; which is love. The two greatest commandments are Love God, and Love people.
In order to change the way the world views Christians we need to start living the way Jesus taught us to live, with compassion and love.