Putting Christ back in Christianity

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Bob, our good friend and frequent commentator from Seattle, raised some very excellent questions about the Jesus Movement, circa 1968-72, after yesterday’s Catch. The following two sentences capture the essence of his speculations. “Did we ever concern ourselves with looking toward the future with God’s endgame in our sights or were we simply content to “live one day at a time,” sing Maranatha songs, and let God handle the details down the road? Do any of us vaguely recall seeing forward 50 years into the possibility that, if the second coming hadn’t already happened by 2019, then our lives and messages (guided by the Holy Spirit) would result in a world where His love, joy, and revelation would prevail because we were His instruments of peace and messengers of His wisdom?”

No, I don’t think we did. We firmly believed there wasn’t enough time to change the world; we only had time to usher as many people onto the “ark” as possible before the rains came. That was the prevailing mentality. But then, as Bob said, when the second coming didn’t come, there was another agenda that took over. Indeed, the whole movement was hijacked by the Christian subculture, embroiled in the culture wars and politics. It was a powerful marriage of conservative politics and Christianity that created an unstoppable cultural force fueled by fear and the need for safety. And the danger now is that Christianity, as many have come to know it, has left Christ. Following Jesus — His discipleship and the Great Commission — has been usurped by an issue-oriented cultural Christianity more concerned with making society conform to “Christian” values than introducing people to Jesus. This is why Christianity has become distorted.

And this is why, at the Catch, we are championing Grace Turned Outward. It is who we are and what we do. We are people who have become the unwitting recipients of God’s free grace that has been lavished upon us through Christ, that we might in turn lavish it on all those in our sphere of influence — who we call, “everyone, everywhere.” We are basically redefining Christianity, or more accurately speaking, we are putting Christ back in Christianity.

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8 Responses to Putting Christ back in Christianity

  1. kellief4 says:

    Yes to this! Christ and Christianity is bigger than any one issue. It’s an issue of the heart and soul. And the only way loving change can take place.

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    I’d always thought that the Jesus movement was a rebellion against a Christianity that had become shallow and ineffective in the real world. What made it “cool” is that everyone was rebelling in the 60’s so the Jesus movement was in line with that. Today, it’s not about cool, it’s about what’s relevant. Jesus will always be relevant in a world where people long for justice, love, mercy, and happiness that money can’t buy. Christians don’t need to be cool or hip. They need to be real and not fake.

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      Amen, brother John: “Jesus will always be relevant in a world where people long for justice, love, mercy, and happiness that money can’t buy.”

  3. Sandie says:

    I remember having a sticker in the rear window of my ’74 Charger (high-performance of course!) that said, “In case o Rapture this car will be unmanned.” Some misread it as, “In case of Rupture”….which of course could render the Charger unmanned! Anyway, as young believers we didn’t think past how many ‘notches’ we could put in our spiritual belt before Jesus came back…how clueless we were.
    I’ve been labeled everything from un-spiritual to un-Christian to not having enough faith to almost blasphemous in the years since then. I committed the sin of breaking out of the “we can’t have anything to do with those sinners” mold. Thank God He gave me the wisdom and courage to do that!
    As Jesus has blessed me with discernment and knowledge I’ve been accused of “seeing too much” and “feeling too much.” That’s okay with me – I’m in good company. And praise God I’m not afraid to go into the world and meet people where they are, because God knows they’re not flocking into churches.
    Because I know Jesus, I bring the real, honest church with me wherever I go.In fact, I may be the only church some people see; the only bible they read. As long as I remember that, I can relate to people the way Jesus related to me. One on one…just as I am…allowing them to be just as they are. Thank God for His grace and every second chance I need….which I now must extend to others.

  4. Mark D Seguin says:

    Another great Catch Pastor John you hit it out of the park!

  5. Wayne Bridegroom says:

    Hi John,
    From my vantage point, I believe Sandie hit the nail on the head. The Jesus revolution came at about the same time as The Late Great Planet Earth. All we were concerned about was ushering souls into salvation through Christ. Since this is “the dispensation of the church” and since the Kingdom of God was future, nothing else mattered.
    After reading Luke over and over I came to the point of having to decide if what Jesus said about the Kingdom as an already/not yet Kingdom was correct or if my Dispensational training at Dallas Seminary was correct. Jesus won. Hence I now understand that Jesus came to destroy the work of the evil one and that includes absolutely everything, including individual conversion.
    In God’s good grace, I hear many, many Christians speaking of the Kingdom. Should the Spirit chose to move again among us my hope is that our response and cooperation with Him will be much more holistic this time.
    Meanwhile, as Francis Schaeffer used to say, let’s keep on keeping on
    Wayne

    • jwfisch says:

      Preach it, Wayne. And I think the Schaeffer title for today (title only, not necessarily content): “How Shall We Then Live”

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