Christian Schizophrenia

Who am IWho am I? Many social labels profess to answer that question. The answers will likely reference religion, politics, careers, hobbies, passions, and familial roles as well as national, regional and ethnic identities. Each of these categories of identity formation carries a particular way of looking at life.

As Christians it is important to know which identity carries the most weight. Much of the Church is in an identity crisis because we do not know what worldview we are drawing upon to inform our thinking. We often choose a package deal. Sometimes we do not choose at all. We are tossed around by whatever view has the greatest influence over us. It may be our political party, our economic class, or our profession. It may be a mixture of all three and then some.

No person is immune to the strong affiliations brought by family, region, ethnic culture, education, economics, politics, and religion. When we, as Christians, discuss what ought to be the chief influencer of our worldview, the answers are likely not to stray from God, Jesus, or the Bible. But when we get down to it, do our denominational or non-denominational views inform our way of looking at the world to a greater extent than Jesus does? Does our political party affiliation inform our worldview, or does our worldview inform our politics regardless of what line the party is toting? Do our pet doctrines have more weight than the rest of Scripture? Does our interpretation of the end times color how we see everything else in Scripture and the world? Read more

Being Christians Who Honor

One summer evening Joseph and I were walking at the beach where we approached a growing crowd surrounding a few street preachers. The street preachers carried signs proclaiming God’s judgment. Anxiety filled the air. The message preached stirred the crowd against the preacher and an angry bystander nearly came to blows with him. Beach Police broke up the fight before it became dangerous. Then the police wearily watched the proceedings from a distance.

I became aggrieved for the police who had to keep the peace in response to a Christian activity. I wanted to write to the department and thank them for their service and apologize on behalf of Christians for the lack of decorum and love exhibited by these preachers.

Hollywood

I feel nearly the same for the actors and directors who receive the brunt of Christian aggression for the movies they produce when we find them to be offensive. I wonder what impression Russell Crowe or Christian Bale gain of Jesus Noah-- Russell Crowe by the words we use to expose their respective attempts to play Noah or Moses. We fault them for thinking, believing, and behaving like people who do not know Jesus. I cringe when I think of the impression we are giving them of the Church that is magnified by all the Christian Magazines and news sources attacking them and their work.

Certainly we can be a voice of truth. We can offer critique and commentary on what is good and true and what fails to achieve these goals. When we do this, we do it with words seasoned with salt and full of grace and truth. We do it with the understanding that we are not at war with those who do not know the Lord. We are not those who demand our own way. Even Jesus stands at the door and knocks rather than busting the door down and announcing Himself.

The Executive Office 

Even more important to our treatment of bystanders or Hollywood is our treatment of our President. We have become as outrageous as Fox News pundits in how Read more