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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

What If...We Crossed a Line?


The sermon on the radio in my dad’s car the other day was one of the best I’ve heard in a while. The preacher was talking about living a called-out life as Christians and walking in the change we experienced through Christ. He also commented a few times about how being “seeker-friendly” doesn’t align with the way we’re commanded to live...that no matter how nice, put-together, and welcoming we are, some people just won’t choose to accept the free gift of salvation.

It’s nothing new to me, but it did bring back a lot I’d been thinking about when it comes to seeker-friendly churches and religion. And it made me wonder…

What if we crossed a line?

What if, in all our striving to look cool, be inclusive, and cater to the secular world, we forgot just what—or, rather, Who—those seekers are actually seeking? What if we’ve lost our identity as the Body of Christ by trying to look like the world? What if we’ve put Jesus in skinny jeans when, in reality, He wore tunics?

Those who are actively seeking peace, forgiveness, and a new way of life aren’t going to gravitate to something that has the same neon lights and hip hop music that a rave does. Those who long for a taste of righteous aren’t looking for a community of people who don’t live righteously. Those who desire to get to know God aren’t going to church for a motivational pep talk they could get from a self-help book and they aren’t going to reach out to a Christian if that Christian doesn’t look like Christ.

We were not called to look like the world.

We were not called to dress like the world, talk like the world, sing like the world, preach like the world, or live like the world.

We are a called out people. Not called in. We are called out of the world, out of the old ways, out of the secular—and called into Jesus, into purity, and into a way of life that no other idea, belief system, or religion can offer.

How are we supposed to introduce non-believers into this called-out life if we’re not living it? How are they supposed to change if we’re acting like them? What about Christianity is going to draw them if it’s exactly the same thing they’ve experienced time and time again?

People in skimpy clothes and body piercings, positive discussions, good music, games, pizza, an environment that’s painted in bright colors, a community that accepts them for what they are...that’s the kind of world non-believers already live in...and it’s the same kind of world seeker-friendly churches and some Christians are trying to offer them.

But that’s not what Jesus offered us.

Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He said He would give us rest. He offers us something the world doesn’t, something it can’t. Something the world has never seen before. Something that inspires change, not complacency and stagnancy.

When Paul said that he becomes many things to many different people so that all may come to know Christ, he didn’t say that he wore a crown of laurels, got drunk, and slept around so that he could relate to Romans. He didn’t say he made burnt offerings and fasted so that he could relate to the Jews. He didn’t say he ran around half naked and worshiped sticks so that he could relate to pagans.

No, instead, Paul studied the people he preached to and he learned what their strengths and weaknesses were. He found what they didn’t know, so that he could teach them what to know. He found an altar for an “unknown god,” and he used that as an ice-breaker, a conversation-starter.

He found what they were looking for, what they were seeking: the source of unknown power, the still small voice, the inner light they couldn’t quite grasp.

And he gave it to them by offering Jesus Christ.

Why don’t we, as the Body of Christ, stop looking at what the world has so that we can emulate it, and start looking at what they don’t have, so that we can offer them the only thing they need: Jesus.


Bookishly yours,

Grace

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10 Comments


Malana
Sep 01, 2021

It's official, I get so excited when I see when of your "What If' posts...they are always so thought provoking and inspiring.

This one...!!!! Amen!

"They will know you by your love."

Thank you so much for sharing!


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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Sep 01, 2021
Replying to

AWW! Thank you so much!!! I am so glad you enjoy these posts! It was my pleasure to share! <333

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Kristina Hall
Aug 31, 2021

Great post! When church starts looking like a rock concert/nightclub, you know there's a problem!

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Aug 31, 2021
Replying to

Yes, exactly!

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Joelle Stone
Aug 31, 2021

All excellent points, Grace!! *decides to share this around* I agree with pretty much everything you said, especially about how we use "we're relating" as an excuse to do not-so-Christian things. Great job, I'm loving this series!!

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Aug 31, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much! Please do! I'm so glad you agree! And thank you! I enjoy writing these posts! :)

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Vanessa Hall
Aug 31, 2021

I agree so much. I've thought about the fact that the church is for believers - not unbelievers. Like in Acts, those that gathered together were believers. Not that it's necessarily wrong to invite unbelievers to church, but we for sure and certain shouldn't be making church look like the world to try to con them into coming. It also seems extremely deceitful, anyway, to act like church is something it isn't. Not to mention the Lord commands us to be in the world, but not of it.


Anyway. My ramblings aside, great post! 😀

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Aug 31, 2021
Replying to

Yes, gathering together was originally meant for encouraging the Body of Christ, whereas our everyday lives are where we are meant to spread the Gospel and minister to unbelievers. Unfortunately, the modern church has lost its identity. I pray that we'll be restored to our original purpose! Anyway, yes! I wholeheartedly agree with you!! Thank you! :)

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Issabelle P.
Aug 31, 2021

Girl, I LOVED THIS!!!!!!!!!!! (first, I'm gonna say I'm SO Sorry that I'm behind on your posts and am still planning on catching up on as many as I can) Secondly, seriously, girl, your words and message are sooo powerful and every time I read one of these posts, I can just feel the Holy Spirit!!!!!! It just makes me wanna jump up and shout amen!!! So I COMPLETELY 100% AGREE with you and this is actually something I've been saying for a while now so, I was SO excited to see you wrote a post on it!!!!!! Just, girl, these posts always leave me speechless and the only thing I can say is a great big AMEN!!!!!! *pumps fist…

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Aug 31, 2021
Replying to

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! (Hey, it's no problem! I totally get it!) AAHH! I am SO happy to hear that!! It is definitely the Holy Spirit, girl! Thank you SO much for agreeing with me! <33333333

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