“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
– Charles Dickens
Here’s one thing that is good about this crazy election and the outrageous things we are finding out daily about our new President-elect, speaking of crazy. I think we can safely say we live in a post-Christian country. (I was about to write post-Christian world, but I understand that the church in Africa would put us to shame, and I’m sure there are other places on the planet where Christianity is doing so well, they should send missionaries here.) Here in America, you would have to call this a post-Christian era.
It’s a different reality now. Billy Graham’s already been through town, and Christians have already had their “15 minutes” of allotted fame. Now it’s time to get down to living in our neighborhoods with Christ in our hearts, rather than on our bumpers, caps and T-shirts.
Drop “Christian” entirely as an adjective. Resist the temptation to use it as one because the implications that now go along with the adjective “Christian” are entirely wrong. They will steer someone way off track. Christian art, Christian music, Christian television, and Christian coffeehouses are all a thing of the past. Now there is just art, music, television and coffeehouses. This is great news, actually. Now we have to live like Christians, not just wear and consume Christian stuff or hang out in Christian environments. And in order to live like Christians we need to find out what that is. What does it consist of? What does it look like? Welcome to the Catch. That’s what we are all about doing here. (We will start by saying it looks like Grace Turned Outward.)
Remember the guy who wanted to reach his community for Christ by starting a Christian coffeehouse until he realized his neighborhood already had a coffeehouse and maybe he should just go there? That’s what we’re talking about.
Start getting on boards and committees to fix things, and start volunteering in your communities. Start meeting over coffee, or what have you, and getting to know your neighbors at whatever coffeehouse, restaurant or bar they go to. Start making and building relationships with non-Christians. The work is going to be done in the trenches, and labels don’t mean anything anymore (if they ever did). This is the best news ever! This is the worst of times; this is the best of times.