iMonk has a great post titled "The Jesus-shaped Question: Are Christians Like Jesus?". After reading and reflecting on Philippians 3:7-8, he has some great thoughts which may be offensive to some. Something that leaped out at me this morning is this:
Christians are conservatives and liberals.
Christians are culture warriors and advocates of family values.
Christians are excited about the megachurches and busy consuming Christian products, from t-shirts to music to cruises.
Christians are defenders of denominations and watchdogs for doctrinal orthodoxy.
Christians are having their best life now and becoming a better you.
Christians are purpose driven and super spiritual.
Christians are taking back what the devil stole and taking a stand in a godless culture.
Christians have dozens of labels and participate in hundreds of activities.
Christians have their own celebrities, their own cable channels, their own entertainment and their own comfortable subcultures.
But few Christians are like Jesus, especially here in the prosperous Christian west.
It’s not much of a news flash to us to realize that most Christians, if they are anything like me, are not much like Jesus most of the time. The sad part is that I’m not sure we’re really trying to move in his direction either. We are too comfortable for that. We’d have to give up too much (our own cable channel, our purpose-driven addictions, our music and t-shirts and cruises) to pick up the cross and follow Him. And the last thing we need is another rote, formulaic, 5-point evangelism strategy. I don’t ever recall a time in Scripture when Jesus asked his fishing buddies, "Did you know God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?…" (Again…that’s for another blog.)
Spencer comments on something a Muslim student related to him about Christians: Most Christians weren’t like Jesus, and the Christian insistence that God was working in and through them was largely undercut by the failure of individual Christians to show character that surpassed what was seen in Muslims or Buddhists.
Yes, Christians aren’t perfect. Just forgiven.
blah. blah. blah.
But when will we get on with the business of being reformed? Redeemed in our character? Recreated in our work ethics and speech and compassion for people? When will we get busy in genuine, loving relationships with non-believers…and do so without an agenda to trump the F.A.I.T.H. card on them in an unsuspecting moment?
Jesus-following people should be Jesus-shaped people. We will never reflect him until we imitate Him… which does not mean we study Him in some discipleship class and let that be it.
I guess what really bugs me is the fact that, as Christians, we are not much like Jesus. And we think that’s normal.
Read iMonk’s post here. If you’ve got thoughts, I’d love to hear ’em.