Interesting Discussion I Thought I'd Share

An interesting thing is happening among Bay Hills' Youth Group (Elevate Student Ministries). A discussion has ensued on the discussion board about why students "hate" church. I had to share some thoughts on it today and thought I might go ahead and share it with everyone on this blog. To join the conversation CLICK HERE.

Well I have to say something. As a "pastor" and I use that term loosely, I know exactly why students and adults "hate" church. Its because they don't know the church. A famous atheist (his name escapes me, which makes my quote kind of worthless but I'll share it anyway) once said to Charles Spurgeon (an old English preacher, also famous), "if I believed what you (Christians) believe, that Heaven was a real place and that Hell was a real place, I would crawl on my hands and knees on broken glass through the streets of London to tell people." We aren't nearly that radical and that's why people find our message hard to believe. We aren't willing to love enough. We don't grasp the urgency of loving people to Jesus. I'm not talking about tracts or door to door evangelism. There is a time and place for that. I'm talking about stepping outside of our Christian bubble and loving people the way Jesus did.

Guys, the church is not a building or an institution. That's what people hate. The hate the establishment that calls for boycotts of Disney, McDonald's, and The Golden Compass. They hate the establishment that organizes anti-gay protests with signs that say "God hates fags." They hate the institution that spends millions upon millions on political ads. That is what they hate. We (the real church), have a message that can turn this world upside down but we don't share it and if we do its often about chalking another one up not about loving people. We sit by while people around us are hungry, homeless, sick and dying, but we don't help them.

Some of the same polls that show how much people hate the church also show that in general people really like Jesus. His life and teachings are influencing Christians and non-Christians alike. However, people aren't connecting with church because it has become a social club with weekly pep-rallies. Its become tame and insulated from the outside world, whereas Jesus was wild and always engaging the culture. We have to be Jesus to the world. We have to stop condemning people (that's the Holy Spirit's Job), we have to stop worrying so much about politics, we have to stop attacking those we deem to not have conservative value. I've never understood why it is we expect people who don't have Jesus to live like they do. They're not Christians, why should they act like one. Let's introduce them to Jesus and let Him take care of changing their ways. Most of all we have to end the idea that church is about us. Its not, its all about our Savior but we've made it into something its not.

This is literally a life and death situation for many but I'll tell you one thing, arguing about it won't solve the problem, that's what the Pharisees did and Jesus called them a "brood of vipers" among other things. We have to decide to go be Jesus to others, to love them, and the introduce them to the one who can change their life.

One more thing. Let's allow people to be anonymous on this discussion forum if they want to. Sometimes that allows some of the less outgoing to have a voice and to really speak their mind. That being said, it might be a good idea to moderate all comments as well.

Let's stop talking and start being.



Big Happy said...

I thank you so much for add to the youth blog and I appireciate all you r words of wisdom every time i speak to you i learn something whether its a reinforcment of something i know or a completely new idea to me

GiGi said...

Right Owwwn! From your dad.