nointendedaudience asked: Hey brother, I just wanted to know how happy I was to find your blog. Too often, love is left out of the “Christian” message. Which is kind of ironic, since when questioned by some scribes on the most important commandment, Jesus replied with love, Mk 12:30-31, Mt 22:37-40. So to get to my question, what kind of Christianity would this type be considered? I have just resorted to calling myself a follower or apprentice of Christ, since I do not associate with any organized church.
Unka Glen answered: How about calling yourself, I dunno… a Christian? If you can dig it, why don’t we let all the weirdos and legalistic types come up with a different name for what they are. If you believe in plain ol’ vanilla, straight-up, un-cut, unvarnished Biblical Christianity, that makes you a Christian. Not just in name, but in the eyes of the world.
Let’s put it this way, as you may know, I work with gang members, inmates, and addicts, and I end up talking with people outside the faith quite a bit about my work, including members of the press. Here is a list of things I’ve NEVER been asked:
- Are you against gay marriage?
- Do you think God uses natural disasters to punish people?
- Are you against profanity in media?
- Do you agree with those Westboro Baptist people?
- Do you yell at people to tell them to stop sinning?
People just naturally assume, based entirely on what I do, that I’m not one of those kinds of Christians. In fact, if you asked the average unchurched individual to tell you what Christians are supposed to believe in, they would say, in no particular order:
- Devotion to God
- Living according to God’s will
So if you want to plant a church that reaches out to non-believers, you simply crank up all of those factors to eleven (especially charity), and you’re bound to be perceived as legit and credible. And since all that stuff is already Biblical, you should already have all that on your radar.
If you want to be perceived as a credible believer, it works just the same. Find out the definition of an authentic and legit Christian to the people around you, and embody that. If those things happen to be Biblical anyway, you should already be well on your way.
But how important is credibility? Is it worth conforming ourselves to what others think is legit? The dictionary defines credibility this way: the power or ability to elicit belief.
If you have credibility, you have the power to make people believe that Christianity is alive and real in you, and that it’s a good thing. Without credibility, well, you’re not in a position to have much of an impact at all. Trust me brother, people already know you’re not that kind of Christian, and if they don’t, just go further the direction you’re heading in, and find more believers like you to lean on, and serve together.
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