Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

What if part 1: But what if God doesn’t?

The entitlement of the American Christian aggravates me to no end sometimes. The “Me-anity” (well put Marco), we live is so not Biblical its crazy. We approach God with, not our requests but, our demands as if He exists for us. As if He exists to fulfill our will. As if God is there saying to US “Not my will but yours be done o humans.”  But what happens when God doesn’t answer our requests? And I don’t mean the “delayed but not denied” answers. I don’t mean the “He may not come when we want but He’s always on time” answers. I mean the flat out “God is not going to do that” answers. Can you trust His sovereignty in that?

I listen to some of these TV preachers that talk about “God wants to give you everything you want” and then I read the Bible and it doesn’t line up. What about in Hebrews 11 where it says “and they died WITHOUT receiving the promise.” And this was written to say they HAD FAITH! What about us? Would we continue to honor God if He doesn’t heal our child or bless our family the way we want? What if that family member dies of cancer despite your prayers? Is He still good? What if you lose your house even though you’ve printed all of the prosperity scriptures and posted them on your mirror? Is He still sovereign? What if your situation requires a miracle or life is going to get REALLY bad? Is God still sovereign?

Too many times I’ve seen people honor God for what they think they can get. They do the Christian rituals because they think God will change their situation. And then when they don’t get the desired result- out go the Bibles, prayers, church and Christian friends. Then, without fail, they say “I tried it and it didn’t work for me” as if the Christian faith was a diet or something. As if their Bibles came with a disclaimer that said “Results may vary.” 

So what am I saying? I’m saying let’s worship, honor and recklessly and relentlessly live for God not because what we want from Him, but because of who He is. Because even if He doesn’t move on my every beck and call, I recognize He is God – and I am not. The only REAL promise I have as I live this life is “In this life you will face trials and hard times. But don’t be afraid because I have overcome the world.” He overcame this world, so my final hope is not in this life. My final hope is in HIM and the eternal life He prepared for me.

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You’re not a Christian? THAT’S AWESOME!!

Every week in our youth church, we try to capture as much as information as possible from our attendees. Last night, we didn’t have a regular service. Instead we just had a cookout. This is not something I normally do because I believe that our Wednesday night services should be used to focus on our “Link to God” aspect of our mission. But, this time when the idea was presented by members of the team, I felt compelled to run with it.

It drew out people we hadn’t seen in months and people we had never seen before. It was GREAT. But, my favorite part of the night is when I looked at the information sheets we had people fill out. On the sheet, we ask “do you consider yourself a Christian?” Why do we ask? So we can get some kind of gauge as to how we are doing to reach the lost. Surely some people answer the question causually and just say yes because they aren’t any other religion. But some answer honestly.

Last night I saw my FAVORITE answer to that question on the sheet. Some people answered “No.” SWEEEET! You’re not a Christian? THAT’S AWESOME!!

Why is that awesome? Because it shows us where the Great Commission can be acted out in our setting. It shows us where the chance for the ultimate miracle can be done right in front of us. It gives evangelism a new face every week. It gives another opportunity for the angels in heaven to rejoice after the person realizes the realness of God and what Christ did for them. It gives them the chance to encounter the love of God and the love of His people. Plus, it shows us we’re not just a gathering place for church kids to feel safe, but a place where unchurched people can come and safely hear a dangerous message.

So when I see people coming in that aren’t Christians, I get excited because I believe God can reach them and at some point someone will ask them if they are a Christian and one day they will say “Yes.” Not because they come to our youth service with other Christians, but because they’ve dedicated their lives to Christ personally. And that’s awesome.

Ashamed or just uninformed?

One thing that has always been a pet peeve of mine since I began my life in the faith is when I find Christians who live in shame of their faith. I’m not talking about Christians who are quite about their faith and let their light shine by their lives. I’m talking about Christians who are ashamed of their faith. Won’t talk about it anywhere outside of church and doesn’t want anyone to even know they have any faith.

While that is STILL a pet peeve of mine, I’m now met with a question: Why? Why are some Chrisitans ashamed of their faith? Then I thought that if they knew about…wait…maybe that’s it. Maybe they don’t know.  Maybe they don’t have the information.

So my question as a Christian, disciple and a youth pastor is this: Are people ashamed or just uninformed? I mean really, is there a more uncomfortable time than the times when you are ill-equipped to do something?

Imagine the time when someone like a teacher or employer put you on the spot about something you didn’t have the information to give a proper answer. Imagine being called on in your first day of advanced calculus to solve a problem in front of the entire class but your math skills are only informed enough to handle basic algebra. How would you feel? Stupid and ashamed? Probably. Well imagine living that way. Imagine being in that type of situation but instead of calculus, you have to answer the most important question you will ever ask – the reason for your faith.

I think that’s how most Christians feel. Not shame because they are embarrassed about what they believe. Just shame that comes from probably the biggest issue that plagues Christians today – ignorance.

So how can we as pastors, leaders and laymen help people to be more informed about their faith and not just inspired?