church in our culture

I was talking with a good friend about faith and how it all plays out.

The conversation drifted a little and got more and more meta. We talked about what the reasons are for why people are, in our opinion, more egocentric then they should be. We went back and forth on reasons why people care and think more about themselves than perhaps a Christ follower should.

And this lead us to an interesting discussion and the part that I think is really worth highlighting.

We talk about culture.

We talked about how our society is so individualistic and we are taught to think about ourselves. Then I noted how a lot of church does that too. Jesus came to save ME. Jesus is MY best friends.

“So which came first” he asked.

Did society infiltrate the church and shift our views to be more individualistic OR, did the church begin to take a more individualistic approach at some point that has now permeated society.

I have two thoughts and to be honest the second if far more important than the first.

Lets start the less important one.

I’m not sure which it is but both are kind of scary.

If it’s society that shaped the church that’s a big problem. If we have allowed the church to be shaped by the society it is in and to become individualistic because that’s what society is becoming we really missed the be in the world but not of the world call.

BUT, if the church has shaped the society it may be worse. If the individualism and lack of care and support for our neighbour came because the church focused so much on your salvation rather than the redemption of everything and your call in it, we screwed up BIG.

Either way, it’s not great.

That leads to my second, and far more important thought.

I don’t really care.

Society shaped church or vise versa I don’t care. We waste so much time debating how the world has gotten as bad as it is.

No prayer in schools, TV and the internet have ruined relationships, no one really cares anymore, etc…

We are where we are and how we got here is so much less important than where we are going and what we are doing to bring God’s grace into this world.

We are to love others with the same unconditional love God shows us. That’s relational and is done in community. We can spend some much time looking back that we never just do in the NOW what we know we are called to. It’s not complicated.

Is it harder than it was when people really cared or whatever it was like back I the day? Maybe I don’t know. Doesn’t really matter because we’re not back in the day we’re in the here and now and wishing for the back in the day won’t bring it back.

Sure let’s look at structures and why’s, but it has to be as we are acting TODAY and moving towards the clear call of a Christ follower.

So what will you do today to make your life more like Christ’s? What will you choose to do today that will help your life be more compassionate?

This space has loads of ideas in past posts, but so there are no excuses a few more:

–          Bake cookies for your neighbour

–          Spend some time on the computer researching a cause in your community you want to get behind and then connect with them

–          Plan a compassion activity for your home church

–          Review your budget to find more money to be generous with

–          Hand write and mail a note to someone needs to know they are loved

–          Educate yourself on the reality of poverty in this area

Pick something and do it today. Engage in community. I don’t know how we got here but I promise you it’s not where God wants us to be right now.

So take part in His plan to redeem everything. Jump in where God is moving and shape where we go as opposed to simply lamenting what we’ve lost.