Just then His disciples returned and were surprised to find Him talking with a woman.
As most of you know, the world hates Christians. Even so, Jesus sent us to the world, because lost people still need to be found. Therein, diplomatic skills must be learned, because many Christians made big mistakes.
As an outsider for 51 years, my faith history disillusioned me. I was raised as a cultural Christian in a grand Episcopal cathedral, where business and social leaders gathered. Surely, important connections were made, but they didn't seem connected with Christ.
Nevertheless, I was seeking purpose and got involved with a group of Buddhists. But in one way they resembled Christians: They considered themselves superior, so I left after two years among them. Decades followed of believing in God, but I avoided born-again Christians. Because I'd met some and most seemed to be...
1) Arrogant, looking down on outsiders.
2) Phony, speaking phrases that sounded trite.
3) Churchy, parading in stiff Sunday clothes.
4) Self-absorbed, walking past lonely people.
5) Hateful, speaking cutting words of insult.
6) Disconnected from the world and from me.
7) Bickering between denominations.
8) Denouncing every other religion.
9) Condemning people for things I'd done, too.
10) Living like millionaires on widows' tithes.
11) Spending lavishly on fancy churches.
12) Hanging in cliques where I was unwelcome.
13) Quoting the Bible to their advantage.
14) Speaking in tongues that seemed crazy to me.
15) Misrepresenting Christ--IF he was real.
I apologize for this ugly list. But if you were born and raised in the faith, and the Lord has sent you into the world, you need to know what some outsiders think...
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You're called to be surprising Christians:* removing the world's misconceptions to reveal the true heart of Jesus. Since you serve a Lord Who loves new things, shake off the shingles of churchy-ness, which is more harmful than worldliness. Because the world doesn't claim Jesus, the world can't harm His reputation.
The best way to clear it up? Do good.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC 2-Part Devotion Series, Surprising Christians: http://amtcdevotions.org/surprising-christians-part-1
* Previous AMTC Devotion, All Things New (Part 1): http://amtcdevotions.org/all-things-new-part-1-revelation
* Previous AMTC Devotion, The Enemy's Game (Part 61), Countermeasures: Water: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-enemys-game-part-61-countermeasures-water
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.