The Problem with Showcase Christianity

 showcase

Showcase Christianity is a detriment to the true cause of Christ. Why do you suppose our society is becoming more and more polarized? Have we reverted back to the Roman days featuring the Christians against the “lions” for the cause of entertainment? Perhaps so, but for a very different reason.

The early Christians were polarized and persecuted because of their commitment to the risen Christ. In our society, Christians are polarized and sometimes persecuted because of our commitment to an image. The question is what kind of image.

As believers, are we as concerned as we should be about the image we project to the community around us? If we are, why then is there a great divide between true believers and almost everyone else? Isn’t that strange?

Jesus didn’t distance Himself from the society in which He lived. Actually, He did alienate Himself to one group, the religious. Have we become so “religious” we have lost our savor to those who believe differently than we do? Tozer refers to Jean Paul Sartre describing “his turning to philosophy and hopelessness as a turning away from a secularist church.”

Sartre’s indictment: “I did not recognize in the fashionable God who was taught me, Him who was waiting for my soul. I needed a creator: I was given a big businessman!”

 light of the world

Jesus commissioned His followers to live up to their calling, not to impress people but to bless them. “You are the light of the world,” He said. “like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16

A lamp on a stand draws people to the light. Instead, we have become a showcase to display ourselves and our agenda. There is a simple but profound reason the church is becoming more polarized in our society. 

As the light of the world, Jesus has left us with an assignment to reflect His love and forgiveness for everyone who will come to the light. This isn’t done through good intentions, programs or the best laid plans. It is done the same way it was in the early church. The only way to do God’s work in the world is through the power of God made possible by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in individual lives.

Showcase Christianity is missing the mark as the light of the world. It is true God is waiting for the soul of every person. But He is also waiting for Christians to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the task to which He calls us.

Acts 1:8 is as pertinent today as it was at Pentecost. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Before Jesus returned to be with His Father in Heaven, He promised He would leave His Holy Spirit to live in and through those who believe in Him. He also promised He would never leave us. Therefore, every believer is indwelt with God’s Spirit. But sadly, not every Christian is filled and empowered by God’s Spirit.

Billy Graham once stated that he believed most Christians are living defeated lives. Why is this so? And why is it that the church has become so polarized that we wield very little influence on our world today? Perhaps it’s because of one of two reasons: One, as believers we don’t understand how to appropriate the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Or two, we’re caught in the Frank Sinatra syndrome. We’d rather do it our way than God’s way.

Consider this: Do you want to reflect the true image of Christ to the world? You can do this if you allow Him to live His life in and through you. If it expresses the desire of your heart, I invite you to pray one of the following prayers.

 praying-hands-4476252

“Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I receive you as my Messiah, my Lord and my Savior. Fill me with your Spirit and teach me how to allow you to live your life in and through me.” Amen

OR

“Father God, forgive me if I have failed to reflect your light to the world around me. Cleanse me from my sin of pursuing my own way and my own selfish desires. Fill me with your Spirit and teach me to walk by faith in the power of your Spirit moment by moment, step by step. Thank you that you will never leave me or forsake me and that you are faithful even when I’m not. Therefore, help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when He convicts me of sin. And help me to be quick to confess my sins so you can cleanse me and once again fill me with yourself. By your Spirit, help me to express your love and compassion in a way that will attract others to YOU. Not to me, not to the church, not to who we are or what we’ve done—but to YOU ALONE.” In Jesus’ name, Amen

 woman on computer

If you prayed one of those prayers, please share it with me or someone else of like mind. This will help to confirm your faith as you walk with God in the power of His Spirit

Or if you’d like to talk further with me, I would love to do that. You can leave a comment or send me an email and I will contact you. My email: elizabethwelsh2@gmail.com

 

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