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religion

March 20, 2008

The Wildesign staff was having a conversation recently about the role of the Church in our turbulent society. Where is the line between relevant and Biblical? What do we do with the prevailing negative attitudes toward our faith? Vast questions to which there are no established answers.

Of a staff of 10, nine are Christians. One is Hindu. One of the Christians asked the Hindu what she thinks of “all this.”

I wish I had a recording that I could now, days later, transcribe word for word because her response was astoundingly depressing.

She talked briefly and awkwardly about how she believes some of the things we believe. And Christians in India? Their religion is influenced by Hinduism. Religion is more about geography and tradition than unraveling the mysteries of the universe. It’s more a facet of one’s existence – a relatively inconsequential one as long as you’re a nice person – than a foundation for one’s existence. She believes what we believe, she just believes more. Jesus was probably just one of many times that god manifested on earth … but whatever, “as long as you don’t hurt anyone.”

I sat there and three thoughts went through my head in rapid succession:

1. A quote from Seth Godin, “Religion is a tool human beings use to amplify faith … and eventually we often forget about faith.”

2. A statistic from UnChristian: Among young adults outside the Church, 84% say they know someone who is a committed Christian. Only 15%, however, thought the lifestyles of their Christian friends were different from the norm.

3. How do you communicate Christ to someone with that mindset?

Am I living like a disciple? Or is it just a job I do? I’m not a secretary when I go home. Do I leave my religion at church like I leave my inbox at the office? Am I in the 15% or the other 69?

Because it is important to live like a Christian. It is vital to build relationships with unbelievers, but as a pastor I admire once preached, “You build a bridge of love before driving a truckload of confrontational truths over it.” Sometimes the bridge is enough – not that the bridge is even easy. Sometimes people will see the bridge and walk across of their own accord.

Sometimes you need the truckload of confrontational truths.

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