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a “small” concern

23 July 2012

I have 332 facebook friends, which is about 1000 less than I had this time last year. Most of those people are Christians (at least 80% – I went through and counted, so this should be pretty accurate), though, a good portion are not. Last week, I posted this link:

with this explanation: “David and I were talking yesterday about love and loving God… HE overwhelms US with His love… why can’t WE overwhelm HIM with our love? Just image if EVERY VOICE in the world was raised up in praise to the CREATOR! Nothing would be able to drown it out! This is my prayer for the WORLD.” Three people liked it (1% of my friends list) and I only got one serious comment (0.3% of my friends list). I got a morbid joking comment about how all we need to do is kill the nonbelievers… and someone liked that…

This shows me something.

There is a lack of boldness in the church today and, therefore, when people are bold, they are often met with ridicule and jokes. (I know that the person who posted that comment really was joking and I am not all that worried about it, for the record.) Jesus said that we’d be persecuted and to rejoice in it. If you aren’t meeting any resistance from anyone about your faith (I am speaking specifically to the people who completely believe in what the Bible teaches), you are doing something wrong. If you believe completely in what the Bible teaches and have a real, fruitful relationship with God, you should want, even long for, every voice to be lifted up in praise to God. If you believe in God and the sacrifice that Jesus made and you don’t know how you feel about saying that you want everyone to praise God… then you’ve got to rethink your relationship with God because something is missing. Christianity isn’t about life being easier. God isn’t a magic eight ball. He is the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE and He made us to praise Him. Christianity is about following the teachings of Jesus and loving God. And Jesus commands us to tell the whole WORLD about God. So… why aren’t we? Why does that video up there make you uncomfortable? Why won’t you share it with your friends?

I personally think (that isn’t strong enough – I personally KNOW) that relationship with God is the best, the healthiest, and the most satisfying thing EVER. So, of course, I want that for everyone, especially the people that I care about deeply to know Him. How is that wrong? Yahweh is the only God that didn’t stay in the grave, the only God who genuinely cares about this world and about YOU and about me, the only God who can HEAL all of your infirmities and WANTS TO. Why is it wrong for me to want YOU to know Him?

And back to the comment – It isn’t that I want those who don’t love God or know His love to be alive, it is that I want everyone to know the SATISFACTION of His love because there is nothing like it anywhere else. If you know God’s love… you should want this for others, too. Think about that.

So, for clarification, this isn’t a small concern. It is a rather large one. I know I probably sounded pretty harsh. I am not sorry. I have a passion for people and a desire to see them living the way they were made to. If that makes you uncomfortable, well – Jesus didn’t come to make you comfortable.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. RoseWilyn permalink
    23 July 2012 12:59

    Yeah. I mean, just last night I had a conversation with some people about stuff similar to this. We were talking about how there are not enough Christians speaking out in America. For instance, to their neighbor or friends. I mean, America is becoming so corrupt, and a lot of Christians are just not educating themselves on crap that’s being allowed to happen in our country. Some of them don’t even see it, and it’s right in front of their face.

    • 23 July 2012 13:04

      You are absolutely right, Rose. It is ridiculous how loose and easy Christians have gotten. How many times does the Bible challenge us to speak and not be silent? Jesus says himself to go and make disciples of all nations. We’ve got to step up and get loud. We’ve got to be praying for boldness and freedom for our Christian brothers and sisters!

  2. Amy permalink
    23 July 2012 13:14

    Danike, awesome thoughts! “Why is it wrong for me to want YOU to know Him?” Right on girl. So glad to read about all these thoughts rolling around in your head. And the things you’ve said have got me thinking as well. Love you :)

    • 23 July 2012 13:17

      Thanks, Amy! It is good to hear from you – I’ve been keeping up with your blog and praying for you in your ministry! Keep it up! Love you, too =]

  3. 23 July 2012 20:22

    I didn’t see your post last week.. (Don’t have much opportunity these days to get on FB) But, I too, want the whole world to know Jesus. I don’t think the Church is capable of being bold, because most (not all) proclaiming Christians do not know what Jesus teaches (as detailed in he Word) and are not living it themselves. The world does not want what we have because to most, we don’t look any different than the rest of the world. I think this is a reason we are met with criticism and ridicule. We talk about the love of Jesus, loving God and loving people, but within our churches and Christian communities, we don’t display it to our brothers and sisters in Christ. When they don’t live up to OUR idea of how a good Christian should dress, how they should talk, etc. We forget God is at work in each one of us in His way and time. Why would the unbelieving world want to hear what we have to say? John 13:35…I’ve been a tad bit disappointed in my brothers and sisters. Keep proclaiming and living what you know. Keep loving God and loving people, especially the people of faith. You are planting seeds even in ridicule.

    • 23 July 2012 21:07

      I agree completely with you, Momma O – when we don’t walk our talk then we are hypocrites and everyone sees it. We have to really seek God for His truth and for His grace so we can know truth and live it out. It is a process… I am so glad that we are sanctified through Christ’s blood! Haha. Thank you for your encouragement!

  4. 2 August 2012 22:54

    Here are my $0.02.

    (1) I don’t like the Newsboys.
    (2) That video is of low quality. It’s someone recording a screen where the video is being shown. So, even if someone were to like the said Newsboys, maybe they didn’t want to share a band they dislike, or didn’t want to share a low quality video.
    (3) Responses to a video on your Facebook page is not a good indicator of the temperature of the church. (I know you are only making a semi-analogy, but still.)

    Now, I get the feeling that many people who have similar beliefs as you would agree with you that there is a lack of boldness.

    I don’t think there’s a lack of boldness, but a lack of storytelling. Boldness alone can turn everyone off from the faith. Those people who come up to me in the Walmart parking lot around Christmas make me uncomfortable, because it feels very pounce-y, which I don’t ever appreciate. It would be a very different thing if they were hanging out with me at a party and they started talking about their life, and then through the story of their life they shared their faith. That is WAY more effective in my opinion. People will disagree with me though, and that’s okay.

    Additionally, my wish for the world isn’t to all praise God. I mean, eventually it is I suppose, but there is so much else to do right now! There are people who are alone, who are afraid, who are bullied, who are ripped to shreds emotionally, there’s in-fighting, petty arguments, people who go hungry, and people who are rejected and thrown out into the pits of despair in the name of holiness.

    So, there are people who agree with you, but feel like there are too many other things to do before we can get to a point of a big worship service. (I know you are not suggesting a big worship service, but still.)

    Also, I think you’re technically correct in your “if you experience no resistance in the world for your faith, you’re doing it wrong” thing, but I really think that argument has given people of faith an excuse to be jerks, caustic, and completely inconsiderate to others.

    • 3 August 2012 10:20

      The point of the video is not the band or the video. I knew it wasn’t the greatest video when I grabbed it, but it wasn’t a piano cover done by a twelve year old or some church band. The point was simply the lyrics. I was actually just using that scenario because it showed me a little of what has been happening and what has been on my heart all year. There is a growing divide between Christians and everyone else and some of the more wishy-washy people are jumping ship.

      I am not sure what you mean by a lack of storytelling. If you mean a lack of relating to people, I agree. I think that is a part of boldness. I think there needs to be a change in outreach – people need to get out and talk to people. Not try to convert anyone, but to just get out and talk with people about Jesus, to pray for them. In the Bible, Jesus went around, spent time with the people everyone hated, and performed miracles. Afterwards, when people were confused and wondering what he was doing and what was going on, he spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven. He taught his disciples to do the same. Mark 16:15-18 and Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commends his disciples to go “make disciples of all nations”, to “preach the gospel to all creation”. So, they did, after receiving “the Helper” or the Holy Spirit. They went around the known world preaching the gospel as Jesus did. That commission didn’t end at the canonization of the Bible. So, in my opinion, those Wal-Mart parking lot people at least have one thing right – they are interacting with people to talk about Jesus. I don’t think they are doing it right. It can’t be just at Christmas and, while I think that someone can come to know Jesus without witnessing a miracle, I think that it is vital. A miracle can just be praying for someone and having God show you something about them that you didn’t know before. Or prophesy, if you will. That makes it personal.

      And while I agree with you about “there [being] so much else to do right now” I don’t think that should change one’s desire to see all things praise God. Kind of like, I desire to turn 30… I won’t for a few years. But, I do believe that Jesus is coming back very soon. So, time is of the essence. Jesus is going to come back from His bride and right now… we aren’t ready.

      Also, for the record, I don’t think the people who are being jerks are being Biblical. I think there is a point where not caring if people take offense is okay – I mean, Jesus called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 12:34). That was pretty offensive, but they weren’t the people He was there to reach out to. Jesus preached the gospel in love – He was always kind to those he was with. But He didn’t soften His message for anyone (Matthew 19:16-22). I don’t think we should, either.

  5. Deanna permalink
    14 August 2012 16:01

    For some reason my phone is not letting me reply directly to your comment.

    Sounds like we agree for the most part. By storytelling I mean that we need to, when talking to people who are not people of faith, tone down the quick talking points full of Christianese that is difficult to understand if you aren’t familiar with it, and start using real language and talk about how your life in particular has been impacted by faith.

    And I actually don’t think in this moment in time in this country we need boldness. I think we need example. We need to shut up for ten minutes and actually start DOING. half the stuff we say we’re supposed to do, an THEN we can talk. Otherwise, we Christians will keep looking like we’re full of hot air and can’t back up our lip service.

    Those are just my thoughts though.

    • 24 August 2012 15:17

      I would agree that we mostly agree. For example, I agree that we are too quick to tell people about what we believe in Christianese. We need to figure out how to share our faith in a way everyone can understand.

      And, we agree on the boldness thing for the most part. I believe whole-heartedly that boldness is ACTION coupled with words. (Not words coupled with action.) There is not enough action happening in America. If you were to read the Gospels, you would see that when Jesus preached, it was only because He healed someone or did something counter-cultural and people were confused as a result. So he explained to them.

      I absolutely agree that we need to act out what we say. Something that keeps hitting me hard is that… unless we are giving away our possessions, abandoning our jobs, our families, and everything that is safe to us (if Jesus asks, of course) then we aren’t following Him. Too many people go to church on Sundays and give their 10% tithe and call it good. But a lot of people could give a 50% and still be good financially. A lot of people don’t spend time showing love to people in need. We live in one of the wealthiest, yet spiritually poorest, countries of all time. And, if I may be so bold, I don’t think that God is pleased with half the people who call themselves Christians. Just look at Revelation 3:15-18: “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.'” This is to the church of Laodicea. 25 years prior to Revelation being written, we see in the book of Colossians that they are healthy and serving God as they should. But they got comfortable somewhere in there. That is what America has done. In the beginning, people fled here from countries where they couldn’t worship God they way they felt they should…. and now, there is no persecution. Most people in American churches don’t know what it is like to be hungry and thirsty physically. We’ve gotten comfortable. I don’t know that those people can really say they are Christians. If we are Christians, we have to leave everything behind and follow Jesus. And it has to be out of LOVE, not guilt or fear.

Any thoughts? Something to say? I'd love to hear it.

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