Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Foreign, But Not Irrelevant

There are many passages throughout the Scriptures that speak of Christians as being set apart. There is an ongoing theme throughout that followers of Jesus should not be "of" this world, though we are "in" this world. Something I have been thinking about is: how do you live as one who is foreign to this world, but yet stay relevant to the world. I think a major problem we have right now in Christianity is that we haven't learned how to navigate this tension. Followers of Jesus must walk the line of abstaining from the fleshly desires of the world, yet not lose the ability to speak with a relevant voice to the world.

You have probably seen this tension at work. Have you ever seen people who stand on street corners holding signs that send messages of people's fate to hell? These people are what many outside the church hold as the model of what it means to be a Christian. If it is not that model, it is the oppposite extreme. They see the Christian who claims faith with their mouth, yet lives like hell. These people are deemed as hypocrites and also lose their voice to influence the world around them. The Savage Generation must learn to navigate this tension well. We as followers of Jesus are foreigners to this world. But we are also the one's given the commission to give the world a message of hope. People need to see Christians as relevant to their world. Real people. What makes us different should not be that we hold signs, dress strangely, or speak Christianese. Instead, we should be seen as different because we live with a joy, peace, fulfillment, and love that they long to experience.

What about you? How do you navigate this tension? Do you find yourself leaning more towards one side than the other? Do people see you as relevant? Do they see anything different in you than they are able to see in themselves?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is really good! I especially like the Christianese comment! Thanks for what you do! (sorry for duplicate comments.. i was having probs posting!!) :)

  3. Julie, thanks for the comment. It is hard for all of us to navigate this tension. I wish I could say I always navigate it well, but that would be a lie. I hope all is well with you and your son!