A little thought provocation from my current reading: The Misunderstood God, by Darin Hufford. This seems especially appropriate in light of some comments I’ve read in the news lately.
“I am quickly coming to believe that this is the first time in history that people outside the church have shown more signs of knowing God’s heart than do the people within the church. People in the world shake their heads in disgust at the things we teach about God. They know we’re wrong, but for some reason the majority of Christians don’t see it. I have found that the common bar-dweller knows more about the true heart of God than the dedicated churchgoer.
Christians think they know God because they read about Him in a book. We’ve been taught that the more we read the Bible, the more we will know Him. The Pharisees knew Scripture like the back of their hand, but when God stood in front of them, they didn’t know Him from Adam.”
Last Sunday in Amarillo, Texas, a group of church-goers gathered at the courthouse steps to burn a Quran. As the preacher held the book in front of him and stoked the crowd, a young skateboarder whizzed by, snatched the Quran, and shouted back over his shoulder, “Dude, you HAVE no Quran!” What’s wrong with that picture, and how much more damage can we possibly do to our witness of the “friend of sinners”, (Luke 7:34), and the “Prince of Peace”?
8 thoughts on “Do outsiders understand Him better than His own church?”
This epidemic has been something that has deeply burdened my heart for a long time. Sometimes, i prefer hanging out with the “sinners”. They are often a whole lot more real and honest than your average church-goer.
Great point Don. It seems as if the Church has become full of pharisees again. The Gospels come alive as if we are reading a newspaper about the Church, and the adulteress and leper have been replaced with the skateboarder and the goth… Thanks for the fresh look.
When I read of the Quran burnings, my heart broke and my first thought was, “Why aren’t those people gathering to send up prayers for the lost instead of fanning flames of hatred and hurting the cause of Christ?” I’ve struggled for years with the wounds inflicted by Islam and bear the scars from those wounds, but each one is a call to pray for those who wounded me and who still need the Savior I serve. I’ve been a Pharisee but want to be a “friend of sinners”,as you say. God help us to be broken bread and poured out wine for those hungering and thirsting for the Truth found only in Jesus.
In the news there was a minister from Florida who wanted to burn the Quran.Thankfully, he changed his mind. If he had gone ahead it would of put our soldiers in more trouble with the Islam extermists. Most Islam people are peaceful people. The extremists give them a bad image. These christian people are hurting our image more than a non christian person could. In Myrtle Beach, there was a group of people from a Church who were picketing schools and public places. They were preaching hate against gay people. I felt real disgust with what is going on. I wonder if this could be a way that Satan is trying to hurt the christian image. Over the years I have heard from people who do not like churches because they felt they were look down on by the christians they encountered. My aunt told me this why she does not like to go to church. She believes in God and prays but has no fellowship with Christians.
The Church isn’t a lot, but that’s changing. I’ve experienced and witnessed amazing evidence of Christians coming alive and the body beginning to move out in supernatural faith and love with signs and wonders. Its happening brother so we can rejoice. Jesus didn’t die for nothing and He’s coming back for a pure and spotless bride.
I no longer attend church. I agree with these comments except I don’t think this is the first time in history. In Luke 18 the Lord hints at this in the parable of the shrewd manager. Verse 8 says the sons of light are not that shrewd. The church has lost it’s way, and the world is showing more common sense.
Thanks for your comment. I think more and more people are feeling the same frustration. In a world that seems to be falling apart on so many fronts it’s truly insane that a large part of the church just continues with business as usual. Thankfully God’s true church extends beyond walls and buildings. I sincerely hope you have at least a small group of people around you to share in the life of Jesus. That, I believe is the important thing.
I really have no one. The church and I have parted ways. I have a few friends, but no real fellowship. I have no idea when that will change, and no “light at the end of the tunnel” either. It is sad and lonely, but nothing is more difficult than going to church, and felling like I am on a battlefield. We should unite against our enemy, and even YWAM seems hostile now. I have reconnected with some students from my DTS, and SOE, and even one of my SOE leaders. It’s enough for now to garnish a little from these electronic relationships. So far God’s grace is sufficient, but I am feeling weak.