Friday, February 08, 2008

Why I Might Say I'm Not A Christian

There are people living on the island of Mindanao in The Philippines who are followers of Jesus, and they hold worship services in a mosque. They don't call themselves Christians. They instead call themselves "Muslim followers of Issah" because if they identified themselves with the term "Christian" they would be persecuted or killed. They are not afraid of this: they are not ashamed of Christ; they are ashamed of His followers who have ruined His reputation.

In America there are people who follow Jesus, but they don't call themselves Christians. They are also ashamed of those who ruin Christ's reputation and so they instead call themselves "Followers of Christ" because if they identified themselves with the term "Christian", they might not be persecuted or killed, it could be worse -- they might get ignored.

Jesus' followers are called to (among other things) act as change-agents, offering a new life and hope to those who are trapped and weary. Problem is, in American culture the word "Christian" has become loaded with so many negative stereotypes. Its literal meaning is "Christ-like" or "Little Christ" but so many people have come to see "Christian" as synonymous with (at best) namby-pamby, goodie-two-shoes, irrelevant prudes or (at worst) hate-filled holier-than-thou hypocrites.

I heard an old song this morning that re-captivated my heart for what it means to follow Jesus:
Multiply Your Love
by Andy Park

Multiply Your love through us
To the lost and the least
Let us be Your healing hands
Your instruments of peace

May our single purpose be
To imitate Your life
Through our simple words and deeds
Let love be multiplied

Multiply Your love through me
To someone in need
Help me Lord to freely give
This grace that I've received

Let my single purpose be
To imitate Your life
Through my simple words and deeds
Let love be multiplied

Let us see Your kingdom come
To the poor and broken ones
Let us see a mighty flood
Of justice and mercy, O Jesus
Let love be multiplied
Let love be multiplied

Multiply Your church through us
To the ends of the Earth
Where there's only barrenness
Let us see new birth

Use us as Your laborers
Working side by side
Let us see Your harvest come
Let love be multiplied
Then this afternoon I stumbled across some videos. The first 6 are parodies of the Mac vs PC commercials. As a person who uses both Macs and PCs but prefers Macs, I have to confess I see myself in both halves of these commercials -- and sadly I see myself in both halves of the below videos as well. The last video is not a parody of the commercial. It is somewhat similar, but more hard-hitting and direct, like quickly tearing off a band-aid (or getting sucker punched in the gut).

They are all funny because they hit so close to home. They are also poignant for the same reason. (ye be forewarned)















~ Keith

1 comment:

LL said...

I totally love the mac / pc parody commercials!

It seems that labels are a double-edged sword, making it easier to both identify and box in our friends and neighbors (and often ourselves!)

Maybe we'd all be better off explaining what we're NOT...

P.S. Congrats on the new iPhone... Welcome to the family!!