Thursday, May 08, 2008

unChristian: Get Saved!

unChristian: Get Saved!

The Issue: Get Saved!

The Perception: Christians are insincere and concerned only with converting others.

Questions and Quotes for Discussion:

Have you ever been “targeted” by someone who made you feel like they were pressuring you into something whether a belief or a sale of some sort? My experience with Mormons, living in Grand Rapids with Amway kooks, telemarketers, political ads, and Brother Jed, etc.

Listen to Fermi Project Podcast: Episode 10 of unChristian featuring Rick McKinley

Read Matthew 28:18-20
1. What does Jesus tell us to do?
2. Is making disciples seen as just connecting them to God then we are done?
3. Is a relationship necessary to be able to accomplish all that is in Jesus’ command?
4. Will the relationship assumed to be short-term or long-term?
5. How have we messed this command up so bad?

Rick stated that while some Christians go overboard to the point of being arrogant in sharing their faith, most Christians really do NOT share their faith. Why is that? Don’t know how, guilt about their own lives.

In what ways does our own culture try to “convert” us? Every commercial, advertisement, show, etc. portrays a worldview such as materialism, hedonism, consumerism, narcissism, etc. With enough exposure and ignorance we can be “converted” to these philosophies.

On pg. 87-88 Chuck Colson states in response to this chapter: “When the local church is doing what the church is called to do – preaching the gospel, administering the sacraments, and exercising discipline – inevitably the surrounding culture will be affected. In other words, if we are really living as Christians, the church expands exponentially. Consider the rise of the Christians during the Roman era. People were drawn to Christians, not because of evangelistic outreaches or crusades, or through mass media – those didn’t exist. The church grew because Christians were doing the gospel and had community – a local church – where people really loved each other. . . . Christianity is a way of seeing all of life and reality through God’s eyes. That is what Christianity is: a worldview, a system, and a way of life. I believe that when you truly see the gospel in its fullness . . . it is the most exciting, radical, revolutionary story ever told.”

What do you think about this quote? Consider what he said about the Christians during the Roman era.

Read: Acts 2:42-47 How could those outside of the faith NOT be attracted to this? How have we gotten away from this way of living out our faith?

On pages 74-75, David Kinnaman states that in his research “We consistently find that the cast majority of teenagers nationwide will spend a significant amount of their teen years participating in a Christian congregation. Most teenagers in America enter adulthood considering themselves to be Christians and saying they have made a personal commitment to Christ. But within a decade, most of these young people will have left the church and will have placed emotional connection to Christianity on the shelf. For most of them, their faith was merely skin deep. This leads to the sobering finding that the vast majority of outsiders in this country, particularly among young generations, are actually de-churched individuals. . . this raises the question of the depth of their faith. If that many Americans have made decisions to follow Jesus, our culture and our world would be revolutionized if they simply lived that faith. It is easy to embrace a costless form of Christianity in America today, and we have probably contributed to that by giving people a superficial understanding of the gospel and focusing only on their decision to convert.”

What is the main issue here? Is it that we need to change others? Or is David telling us that maybe the focus needs to be that we take a good hard look at ourselves?


What does true spiritual depth look like? Last week we talked about how Christians should be different in that we should have “spiritual fruit” such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. But growing real fruit (and vegetables) takes a long time and hard work. You need good soil and lots of sun and rain! What are some of the ways we can take advantage of to nurture and grow spiritual fruit in our lives so that we move beyond superficial faith and we see deep transformation happen in our lives?

Defining Transformation (List from page 80).

1. Worshiping God intimately and passionately
2. Engaging in spiritual friendships with other believers
3. Pursuing faith in the context of family
4. Embracing intentional forms of spiritual growth
5. Serving others
6. Investing time and resources in spiritual pursuits
7. Having faith-based conversations with outsiders

Are you pursuing ways to deepen your faith or are you complacent with a superficial faith? CHOOSE WISELY!

The NEW PERSEPTION: Christians cultivate relationships and environments where others can be deeply transformed by God.

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