Monday, April 14, 2008


UnChristian-Manipulative, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.

Last night, Mark Byrer finished off our series at h2o dealing with themes from the book Unchristian. I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants to look deeply at the image problem of Christianity in the west. Last night Mark looked at the image of Christians as manipulative. Many see Christians only as people who are trying to broker a deal for souls. Once the transaction, often in the form of a prayer, has taken place, the Christian apparently has little to do with individuals. If the person seems to be resistant to the faith, then the Christian washes their hands of that person. While that may not be true, that is the perception of a healthy percentage of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29.

So what is a Christian to do to change this image problem. We can't get around the fact that we are called to share our faith, but it becomes a question of how we share that faith.

Mark gave folks three ideas to take away in consideration of the current climate in America.

1) He encouraged us to THINK. Maybe we need to think a little bit differently in terms of how we share our faith. Maybe more people need to take a greater role in walking with people through life, and not stopping at the point of conversion.

2) He encouraged us to LOVE. Often Christians can come across as insincere. It's almost like the behavior of a business person so intent on closing a deal, they stop caring for the people they are working with. Perhaps, we can all learn to love a little more and a little better.

3) He encouraged us to LISTEN. Many times, folks start telling people what they think they need without listening to hear what they really need. Maybe if we listened more and spoke less we would be able to help people walk through their very real pains in life.

As I listened to Mark's message, I couldn't help but think we could all use a little more thinking, loving, and listening as we share the most important message in history.

The gospel of Jesus is the most important and thoughtful message that has ever been uttered. It is the most sincere message of love that has ever been communicated. And it is the ultimate response to the hurt and brokenness we see in this world.

May you share Jesus well in action, attitude, word, and deed. Your life could be the only representation of Jesus or the Bible many will see.

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