“Christianity began as a revolutionary nonviolent movement promoting a new kind of aliveness on the margins of society…It exposed a system based on domination, privilege, and violence and proclaimed in its place a vision of mutual service, mutual responsibility, and peaceable neighborliness…It was a peace movement, a love movement, a joy movement, a justice movement, an integrity movement, an aliveness movement*.” We can look at so many self-proclaimed Christians in 21st century America and ask ourselves, ”So, what happened?” So many of the issues that complicate and threatened our lives are based in a misguided and misinterpreted Christianity. Are we Christians really committed to fostering peace, love, joy, justice and life for everyone? Can we say that we are part of an integrity movement? A revolutionary nonviolent movement? How can we seize this crossroads moment and help one another work our way back to the vitality of our beginnings?
Renew our spirits.
Look at some of the issues we are dealing with at the present time. How do we evaluate the complex causes? What response do we give based in our proclaimed beliefs? What are we willing to say and do?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion. We believers cannot be silent when terrorism abuses religion; indeed, we are called unambiguously to dispel all misunderstandings.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
Christianity is not just about what we believe; it’s also about how we behave.
John R.W. Stot
I wonder what we Christians are known for in the world outside our churches. Are we known as critics, consumers, copiers, condemners of culture? I’m afraid so. Why aren’t we known as cultivators-people who tend and nourish what is best in human culture, who do the hard and painstaking work to preserve the best of what people before us have done? Why aren’t we known as creators-people who dare to think and do something that has never been thought or done before, something that makes the world more welcoming and thrilling and beautiful?
Church is a space in which the Spirit works to form Christlike people, and it is the space in which human beings, formed in Christlike love, cooperate with the Spirit and one another to express that love in word and deed, art and action.
Christianity is about the reconfiguration of the human heart, the redirection of human desire. Christianity crucially involves beliefs, but it’s not about the beliefs.
You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
We desperately need to explore how much of our understanding of the gospel is American and how much is biblical.
Christianity is a lifestyle. And being a Christian is more than a label.