Why do you think we’re not good Christians?

09Jun08

My Passion is for the Church. I feel that we’ve gotten way off track. Blue Like Jazz, UnChristian (Lyons and Kinnaman), They Like Jesus but Not the Church (Dan Kimball), and many other books have convinced me of this – not to mention my own experience.

 The off-trackness is: we’re nothing like Jesus. At least I’m not. I don’t love people, I don’t have the fruits of the Spirit. I’m lonely, I’m selfish, I have no power, I have little love – and I don’t see much of that in my fellow Christians.

We’re actually repulsive to non-Christians (you may disagree). This is so sad! this is HORRIBLE! We’re supposed to get people saved! This is serious! I mean, I know that if they hated Jesus they’ll hate us, but it’s not like they hate us for being loving and overly gracious like Jesus. They hate us b/c we have no grace and all we do is try to convert them and don’t really care about them. So, I understand, TOTALLY, that the bible says we’ll be disliked because of following Jesus, but I don’t think we’re (I’m) actually following Jesus.

So, this beg’s the question: HOW!? “Oh really Jesse? If we’re not following Jesus, how are we not following Jesus?” That’s a huge question. Not sure. I think I default to looking at the things that programmatically we’re doing different in our churches than what I see in the bible (which is highly contestable, I know, I know).

Well, I don’t know. I have my opinions but they’re not well formed. Why do you think we’re not being very good Christians? Why do you think we’ve gotten to the point where we’re not loving and not known for being loving?

I understand you may disagree that we’re not being good Christians (that is, you disagree with what I’ve implied in the questions above). If so, please address why you think we’re being good, or why I’m wrong or something.

Grace and peace to you! =D

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7 Responses to “Why do you think we’re not good Christians?”

  1. 1 Paulg

    Well, I wholeheartedly agree with you…I’m not sure if you’re asking for the causes or the symptoms, so I’ll put a few of both.

    One of the main reasons we are ‘bad’ Christians is because we have adopted the same values as our American culture. Specifically, we have chosen as our own capitalism and it’s wicked step sisters, materialism, individualism, and consumerism. Capitalism shows up in the church in that the majority of Christians have the same jobs as people who aren’t Christians, we use the same logic, self – interest(Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776) to make our choices of where to work, where to live, whom to marry, whom to have as friends, what vacations to go on, etc. Our reflex decision when crisis hits is to spend money or to consume. Further, we take the logic of capitalism and see ourselves as a single unit in a huge economy. No longer am I know by the people I touch or the things I produce, I am only known by my economic status, rich, poor, etc. This adopted value causes me to see my friendships as short – lived relationships I use to climb the economic latter, and to believe I have the right to decide as an individual what is right for me. This right, of course, no one has, thus the existence of laws and courts. Finally, our goals in life mirrors our culture in that we are looking for the newest toy, collecting the coolest clothes, etc. We betray an attitude that if you have more, you’ll be happier. There are others, but could imagine how wonderfully unique and attractive/repulsive we would be to our society if a community of us were able to shed the dominant features of our culture? Not, in favor of socialism as some have tried to do, but in favor of Kingdom living where we adopted the fruit of the spirit as our values.

  2. 2 Lara

    I wonder if the place we should start is with “How could I follow Jesus better?” I’m not sure we can change the Church by telling it its doing things wrong. I think we have to start with showing it what’s right…and make darn sure we are really allowing Jesus to live through us through the Holy Spirit, as opposed to just trying to live up to an example that we think we see in Scripture. Until that happens I think we are doomed to failure, cause the reality is that no matter how hard we try to follow His example we will never get there…wherever “there” is!

    I can only imagine what the Church would be like if people started living in this power of the Spirit. I like to believe that people would see the love being poured out through us and be pulled in beyond their control to join the party!

  3. I think a big reasons why Christians aren’t good Christians is because they’re woefully unprepared to do so. I’m not talking about the necessity to attend a “how to witness to your friends” seminar, I’m talking about people not having their own lives straightened out and not having their own relationships with the Lord solidified before they attempt to teach others how to have a relationship with the Lord.

    It’d be like Dr. Phil being Dr. Phil – except that his marriage would be in the toilet. Either everyone knows that and they don’t take him seriously, he puts up a facade and maybe fools a few people who then are filled with resentment when he is exposed, or he’s unable to accurately help the people who need it.

    How are the majority of Christians in America any different than that?

    In my own life, I’ve always found myself to be most effective when I wasn’t even trying to be…My prayer life would be strong, my reading would be consistent and beneficial, I would be living consistently and honestly, and boom! Conversations happen. People come to me asking for prayer.

    Then I realize what’s going on, I get puffed up, and the relationship becomes strained. Back to square one!

    Personal holiness is lacking in the church, and the church suffers for it.

  4. 4 Asher

    Given the past twenty centuries of Christianity and its influence I can agree completely why people reject Christianity, Church, and Christ. Rather than ushering the Kingdom of God on earth it has been anything but that.

  5. 5 dennis colten jr.

    The byproducts of christianity are: guilt, mental illness, emotional angst, depression, panic disorder, manic depressive disorders, stomach disorders, nightmares, twitches, belief in crap that cannot be proven, years in therapy, poor health in general, fear of death, racism, homosphobia, fascism, misogyny, ignorance, anti semitism, fear of life, fear, fear, fear. F*ck christianity. most people get tired of it and in the end they kick their idea of god in the balls and choose hell. who can blame them? christianity is a joke, a farce, a notion, a slap in the face to anyone who ever had an original creative thought. It’s all rubbish. All of it. It needs to be taken out to the dumpster and tossed with the rest of the garbage that takes up space in our lives.

  6. Hey Dennis,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. It’s interesting that you feel that way about Christianity. I have not experienced most of the byproducts of Christianity you speak of, but some I have.

    I’m curious how you formed your opinion about Christianity. Like, how did you come to your conclusions? “nightmares”? – I mean, I know you’re exaggerating for effect, but I, honestly, would love to hear why you believe all this, er, I guess, examples of your facts.

    Thanks again, for your comments, Dennis. Although it’s a little harsh, honest feedback is fucking worth its weight in gold!

    Thanks,
    Jesse

  7. 7 Paulg

    Dennis, I agree with so much of what you wrote, but i think it’s only fair to say that what you described Christianity to be would fit for most of our culture. Bertrand Russel, the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, famous for books like “Why I am not a Christian” and “The Conquest of Happiness” wrote as the preface off the latter book,

    ” My purpose is to suggest a cure for the ordinary day to day unhappiness from which most people in civilized countries suffer, and which is all the more unbearable because, having no obvious external cause, it appears inescapable”

    The modern hypothesis that man could reach a utopia by getting rid of emotion and superstition and clinging solely to logic and reason is the main cause for what Russel and Colten are suggesting. When you dismiss the emotions as something base and as something to be repressed so pure reason can come to the front(don’t we all think making emotional decisions are bad?), is it any wonder that we have an entire culture dealing with the emotional illnesses listed above. We have been taught that emotions are the enemy, so most of us are still children emotionally.
    Also, in fairness, the Christian church married itself to the ideals of the Enlightenment, this marriage is part of the reason people have a difficult time separating what Jesus teaches from what the culture as a whole dictates. Thus, in many of the lives and teaching of the postmodern philosophers (they would reject such labels : ) ) there is so much hopelessness and despair, because to this point, there haven’t been too many ways forward offered, just critiques of a fading system.


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