Is it just me, or does it seem that the church is always looking for something to be angry about? As I write this, there is actually a movement going on to protest Starbucks for not having "Merry Christmas" written on their coffee cups. Last year, there was a "Christian" movement to boycott Target for saying "Happy Holidays." It seems somewhere that we have lost the point of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. There's got to be more to the Christian life than boycotting people we don't agree with.
If we're going to recapture the story that God has called His followers to, let's start with this.
5 Things Jesus Didn't Die For:
1. Jesus didn't die to force us all to say "Merry Christmas."
2. Jesus didn't die to create a new music genre.
Don't get me wrong, I love hymns, Hillsong United, and Elevation worship. There's nothing wrong with writing beautiful songs to our Creator. In fact, it's Biblical (Ephesians 5:19). But, something tells me that when Jesus went to the cross He had something more in mind than making sure His followers had their own radio stations that play hits that are, at best, 15 years behind current culture in their musical style.
3. Jesus didn't die to create a sub-culture.
We can't talk about bad music without addressing the overall issue of having a Christian sub-culture. Jesus did tell His followers to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). But that has got to be something deeper than wearing cheesy knockoff t-shirts and supporting "Christian" films regardless of how cheesy they are. There are bigger issues in this world than what movies we support and what clothes we wear. You want to be salt and light? Let people see how much of a difference Jesus really makes in your life. When other marriages are crumbling, let yours shine. When other people are struggling with addiction, let people see how Jesus set you free. That speaks a lot more than a knockoff of current pop culture.
4. Jesus didn't die for a particular political party.
Republican or democrat. Both have their issues. Following Jesus and having blind loyalty to a political party cannot coexist. We'll leave it at that.
5. Jesus didn't die to start a country club.
The church is the hope of the world. He didn't die so we could gather together, pat each other on the back, and yell about everything wrong with our world. He didn't start the church to be an exclusive club for the saints. He started it to reach a broken and lost world. When we make church about us and our desires, we've lost the very essence of what Jesus intended for His church. We are called to "seek" and "save" the lost (Luke 19:10,John 20:21) . Period. Anything less than that isn't really a church. It's a country club.
When we boil a life of following Jesus down to combativeness, Christian sub-cultures, and country clubs, we've lost the point of the gospel. And we've lost our place in the mission of God. The gospel is about grace, mercy, and redemption. It's about freedom, and not bondage. It's about relationship with the Creator, not rules. It's about the presence of Christ, not politics, protests, and pranks on Starbucks.
Want to know what Christianity is REALLY all about? Maybe this will help: Welcome Home: The Foundation.