In a recent post titled Going Beyond Sectarianism in which I was explaining the problem with sectarianism, I suggested that we would be better off simply accepting every professing Christian as such. I’m not making such a suggestion because I believe every professing Christian believes and lives as a Christian ought. I made the suggestion because we have not been called to be the judge of who’s in and who’s out.
Having said that, I am aware of how common it is to encounter people who profess the Christian faith yet believe and live as though they belong to this world rather than to Christ. Believe me when I say that this frustrates me. I’m a preacher/pastor…it is definitely frustrating. But what can I do? More importantly, what can we who are bothered by this do?
Whatever we do, if we begin by pointing fingers, making accusations, and casting judgment then we are more likely to build insurmountable walls rather than transformative relationship.
So here’s what I am thinking. We need to start evangelizing Christians again to the way of Jesus Christ. While the task of evangelism is aimed at all people, it is time we realize that there are Christians who need to be re-evangelized. This is the task of making disciples, since it seems that the number of Christians exceeds the number of Jesus followers.
This presumes then that we are living as disciples. Or to put it another way, we must be people seriously committed to our confession. Or to put it another way, we must be people who live as a people baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and exhibiting the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2.38). Or to put it another way, we must be people who are learning and committed to believing as and living like Jesus believed and lived. Perhaps then, Christianity in our neck of the woods will once again be “salt and light” among our communities (cf. Matt 5.13-16).
This is just some “out loud” thinking on my part about a problem most preachers/pastors and other Christian leaders recognize. What are your thoughts?