Monday, June 23, 2014

Current reading, current thoughts

I am currently reading UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons for my summer internship.

The book contains research about Christianity, how Christians have failed, and what the younger generation thinks about the church. 

The concerns addressed are thoughts I have had for quite some time.

Of course I don’t agree with every sentence I have read, at least not the way the writer chose to phrase some of them, but that is natural and challenges my thinking.

What I’ve consumed has been enlightening and really got me thinking.

One issue the book talks about is how the Christian church has focused too much on the number of people saved (accepting Jesus Christ as their savior) and too little on the spiritual transformation/formation (“depth rather than simplistic formulas”) of those saved.

I have noticed this issue since I was about 14 years old, and have struggled with frustration toward the Church about this very topic since.

Evangelism is not meant to be turned into a contest to see how many people can be saved to fill thousands of seats, in order to create mega-churches. When quantity becomes more important than quality, we have to reevaluate.

We are all flawed and can never be perfect, but we can strive to be more genuine and transparent.

It is my hope that the church will continue to admit their faults and better show others that it is not about the headcount, but rather the development of each individual’s spiritual transformation.

It is about our Father and growing closer to Him, so we are able to leave behind the things that seem so important, and see the things that are.

I am admitting my faults— I have failed as a Christian and I will continue to fail, but I will also continue to press on. I will continue to strive to do the opposite of all the things the church gets wrong. I will continue to love and forgive/be forgiven. I will continue to admit my faults, or else what I confess as truth is meaningless.

Some quotes that have stuck out to me:
". . . . Another rants against all things corporate with a latte from Starbucks in hand . . . . The problem is not fundamentally hypocrisy. We're all hypocrites at some level. The problem is the air of moral superiority many of us carry around."

“We fall prey to the charge of hypocrisy because we have reduced spirituality to a list of moral benchmarks coupled with a good dose of judgmentalism.” 

"What if he [God] is using our culture to make us aware of our hollow religiosity and empty answers?"

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