Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Posts tagged ‘Christ-Followers’

The Bridge

The Bridge

The Bridge - to Christ, Spiritual Maturity, and Hope to the World

The Bridge.  A new name, a new vision, a new pastor, a new approach to ministry, a new congregation.  By the way … I’m that new pastor.  I took the position in October, and it’s been great!  I love the people – “the survivors” is what I call the folks who made it through the turbulence of transition from former pastor/former church to new pastor/new vision.

Maybe you noticed the logo caption.  We, the people at The Bridge, want to be a bridge to Jesus.  We will never change the message!  It’s Jesus Christ, the Lord, Son of God, born of a virgin, lived in Palestine, taught disciples, was crucified, dead, buried and RISEN!  And coming King!

While we’re orthodox in our beliefs we will tend to be unorthodox in our approach to reaching out to the “dechurched” and the “unchurched.”

Matt Chandler (Google Matt, and look for him on You Tube as well) describes the dechurched as people who attended church when they were younger (pre- and even post-adolescence) but, for a ton of reasons, decided church wasn’t their thing.

I’ve come to the conclusion, after years of observation myself, that the dechurched may have thought attending church was pointless, irrelevant, dead/lifeless, populated by hypocrites, and constantly wanting more and more money.  The dechurched may have been hurt in a plethora of ways while attending church, and they’ve decided, “Who needs this!?”  Unfortunately, they may have seen hypocrisy in their own home and decided, “Why go to the trouble of going to church on Sunday morning when there are better things to do?”

The dechurched, after years of wandering the planet, wondering if there is a personal God that’s as sick of “church” as they are, believing that Jesus Christ is who He said He was, and investigating every spiritual nook and cranny there is have finally decided, “If I can find a group of REAL Christ-followers – authentic, transparent, loving, kind, other-centric, missional and more – I’ll check it out.  If I can find a group of Christ-followers who are honest about their imperfections and don’t make excuses for their misbehavior (they actually ask for forgiveness and want to make things right), I might check it out.  If I can find a diverse congregation that does not try to be politically correct but (instead)  tries to love each other the way Martin Luther King dreamed, I might check it out.”

It is my hope that The Bridge will be all those things!  I want to hang out with people like those I described above.  I want to build relationships with honest-to-God and authentic people who get the Gospel, believe it, and want to live in a community that looks and sounds a lot like Jesus if He were living here, and now.

Sounds idealistic?  Sounds impossible?  I don’t care what it sounds like – this is the vision I have for The Bridge.  Before my life is over I want to be with a group of people who want to do “Church” the way Jesus intended it to be.

Give me some feedback!  What did I leave out of my vision.  That’s an honest question.  I want to know.

“Christophobia”

I got one for you.

You’ve, no doubt, heard of “homophobia.”  No doubt.

Have you ever heard of “Christophobia?”  Probably not.

I just invented the term.

Christophobia is the unreasonable and unjustifiable fear of Jesus, and Christ-followers.  A Christophobe may not “fear” Jesus in the sense that he or she is afraid of Him, but he will slam Jesus, vilify His followers, and try to make it impossible for Jesus-Believers to live a Christ-following lifestyle without encountering animosity, prejudice, and persecution.

Most “NoDems” are Christophobes.  (see MiVu article on “NoDems.”)  NoDems see Jesus Christ as a myth – right up there with Zeus, Tarzan, and Big Foot.   They would say that Jesus of Nazareth probably lived, but that His fans created Him in their image … to be their Savior.  NoDems and Christophobes believe Jesus was not the Son of God in the biblical sense.

Christophobia is growing in America.  And while NoDems are not the only people fueling this fear, they are actively involved in creating the laws that will curtail religious freedom in this country.  Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the ACLU, and NARAL are allied to build on this fear.  Many movie makers see Christophobia as fodder for box office success.  More and more comedians, television script writers, and members of the media are jumping on board the Christophobia express.

If you are a Christ-follower, be aware that soon you will have to be more cautious about expressing your faith in America.  Like believers in China, India, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and some countries in Africa … being a Christ-follower will become downright dangerous.

Think about it.