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Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Hijacking of Christianity

Recently I was listening to a popular radio personality who called the Muslim community to speak out against the the acts of terrorism that are being done in their name. He suggested that the Islamic extremists have "hijacked" the public's image of Islam and that, if the Muslim community feels this doesn't represent mainline Islam, they need to publicly denounce these terroristic acts. Of course, we have not seen much of this, and the implication was that these acts are passively endorsed by the rest of the community.

This caused me to consider the community I claim to be a part of and the public image of Christianity. Are we permitting Christianity to be "hijacked" by those who commit their own acts of hatred under the guise of Christianity? The military funeral protesters, two-faced televangelists, gay bashers, and their ilk continue to dominate any news regarding Christianity and color it with their hatred. The abortion clinic bomber is commonly cited as Christianity's version of a terrorist, though there hasn't been one in almost ten years. Are we passively endorsing their behavior by not speaking out against them and not living in a way that is a loud and clear contrast? Who can we point to who is living a life that is full of peace and forgiveness to counter-balance the damage that group of people is doing to the image of Christianity? Is there anyone being that outspoken for Christianity in a way that is drawing people to Christ rather than driving them away?

As I have said before, one should never judge a worldview by it's abuses. One must instead judge a worldview by what it asserts and the founder who asserts it (in other words, deal with the ideas themselves). However, this argument by itself will not win a skeptical public to Christ. In fact, while this argument is sound and logical, it seldom will ever change the way someone feels about Christianity.

I know Christianity will not always be popular in the public eye (Jesus' ministry and teaching make this clear), but we must be sure that when we are unpopular, it is for the right reasons. This will require Christians who are aggressive with the grace and hope of Christianity. This will take Christians who are biblically informed and know how to handle the Word and those who are not living by it. I know those who are building the Church will not always be given as big a platform as those defaming it, but neither can we sit by passively and let such people form the public's entire picture of Christianity.

So it begins with you and it begins with me. Living a biblically saturated lifestyle out loud and in a winsome fashion on what ever platform we're given. Even if it's only with class mates, co-workers, friends and family. It requires an ear for which "Christians" are making the news and a finger on the public pulse. It requires the biblical literacy to know those who are and aren't living in accordance with the teachings of Christ and the ability to articulate the difference. But, most importantly, it takes a life that is full of Christ and empty of hypocrisy that will win the skeptics with an aggressive hope, peace, and grace that is out loud.

1 comment:

Jason said...

as always very well done, jared.