I sent this to my friend (added a little extra stuff for this blog) …
I think we shouldn’t be satisfied just because people turn up in our Christian meetings. The first … more important question is … what is God doing in our lives? and how we can keep that focus (the meetings are a beginning but there’s more than meets the eye). I think by being so “clear” about this … there’s no room for other agendas … which is actually the right way to go. Now, we can know clearly, where one’s location is and begin to seriously pray and act in a way that may help clarify possible directions for one to take to the destination we believe we should be.
Second, I still think an honest talk with people on faith issues is needed. If not, much is swept under the carpet or they can still hide under that yuppie outlook (which is quite common nowadays for young adults)
Third, have a realistic expectation on how one will respond. being a little religious is easy for people. Talking and sharing on the surface is kacang putih. Now, I’m praying people will come to a place of humility and see that GOD is not only for those who have a psycological need, but even for those who think they are capable.
Lastly, more on us so called “Christians”… personally, I’ve shifted into a version of Christianity which I believe can not only survive the 21-C but also thrive and grow (cf. McLaren’s two books “New Kind of Christian and its sequel give a good picture of this shift). It practically saved my faith (i think).
Much of what the version of Christianity my contacts (and many others like them) perceive, won’t do the job . why? Because …
1. A lot of it starts on the wrong ground, e.g. how can this help me in my life? how does this Christianity fit into MY LIFE (a few “I”-type of talk already) and if it starts on a self-centered ground. GOD is already on the losing end.
2. Too much of it is “chicken soup” stuff .. peppered with some Scriptures and not rooted in the STORY we explored some time ago (cf. Christian bookstores have load of junk and a little good stuff). And many Christians I’ve come across are growing on this.
“chicken soup” as a diet doesn’t produce healthy people not mentioning healthy Christians. A healthy diet is actually what we are trying hard (conciously and unconsciously) what we are doing in BLC through LG and worship and classes. That goes against us being in the driver’s seat, and training us to learn submission to the Spirit.
3. The world around us is changing … no doubt, and many of us are living a version of Christianity we remember maybe in the 80’s (as teenagers) or what’s usually portrayed overseas (usually USA). A different world requires a different “version” of Christianity (Christ’s truth doesn’t change but the way we think and live it does). You witnessed a new version of evangelism by McLaren, that’s just the tip of the ice berg. After three years of allowing much unecessary stuff to die, and letting God work on what really matters, I realized God is overhauling many of us for a true work of his kingdom. Pain is bound to be there, but new birth really happens (I remember when Gareth was born and the whole experience of pain and new birth). if that’s how it works in the natural, how much more in matters we can’t see. I’ve learnt to expect nothing less.