The following came about after having dinner with some good friends and my wife and I being the only Christians in the group.
I feel often that when I explain what I do for a job and that I’m a Christian, people look at me a certain way. And as I pondered this I also thought, “Why is it that when I am around my non-Christian friends, they all have heaps of crazy stories about Christians and about Church? And why is it that when I am sharing about what God has done in my life I feel I have to dumb it down to the people I am talking to, so they don’t just put me in the ‘hates fags, Bible basher’ box?”
It’s worth thinking about… and it’s probably long overdue for me, as I’ve been in my current role running a short-term mission organisation for over five years now. So I started thinking, are there any actual ‘cool’ Christians or does “Deny yourself and follow me” as Jesus once said, mean that coolness must go out the window and that I just have to put up with being viewed as that guy?
I know that ‘being in the world but not of it’ is a good justification to people who stand on the corners in our cities and preach through a loudspeaker, but I got to thinking. Will Christians ever be respected by the ‘world’ so to speak, or are we destined to be an uncool, religious movement? I didn’t want to answer this question so I then thought, “Are there some fundamental human concepts that everyone agrees on?”, i.e. a common thought amongst Christian and non-Christian on what is cool Christianity in our culture?
Yip, there is. Mother Theresa was her name. Now for the haters out there, some are going to argue that she was actually Catholic and not Christian but I’m talking about this on the broad spectrum of loving Jesus and Him being at the centre of our lives.
Now obviously this blog is not about being a cool Christian, because being cool is not the end focus, being Jesus-like is. And Mother Theresa was never hip, but she was, and still is, highly respected. But why? Mother Theresa’s walk with God was nothing but sacrifice on top of sacrifice. She was hardcore, stubborn and yet so compassionate at the same time. Not only did she take a vow of poverty she put herself at the bottom of the pecking order (in her own Order), so that she was always wearing the worst of the donated shoes, to the point of having deformed feet because of this.
So maybe we should be asking ourselves (myself obviously included), if Mother Theresa is so respected but we are not, then what is missing? Have we gone astray in looking to be cool and seeker-friendly rather than wholeheartedly embracing what Jesus taught us those 2000 years ago?
My conclusion to my inner monologue (which has now been blogged) is this.
Are we living our lives in a way that truly reflects the Kingdom of God, or are we being part of the problem of weak, watered down Christians who only seem to be known by what they hate and don’t like as opposed to what, how and who they love?