People misunderstand Christianity because they encounter hypocritical Christians. A new convert in Christ can join a local church and may come across some members who may not act like Christians outside of the church. For example, they may come across a co-worker who never talks about God at work and whose actions are far from those of Christ, therefore they form an opinion about the church as a whole. Salvation begins as a relationship with God and it should be expressed in one’s relationships with others. When Salvation is received some people just treat it as “fire insurance” from hell, just doing enough to get by. Salvation should reflect the personal relationship you have with God. When ...view middle of the document...
Allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide, the voice in your ear to tell you which way to go.
I feel that these suggestions could foster a change in society’s perception of the church because they will realize the entire church is not based off of one individuals’ choice. Each person is held accountable to God. When you have decided to give your life to Christ you have to be the best witness possible.
In Core Christianity, Elmer Towns writes, “From the beginning, the church was a gathering of Christians, committed to a common purpose (the Great Commission), and they shared the core value of loving God (the Great Commandment).” (P. 99) In other words, the basic purpose of the early church was to proclaim the gospel of Jesus and its basic distinctive was reverent love. Unfortunately, many churches in our current culture no longer operate by this God-given mandate. The result is an epidemic of man-centered, biblically dysfunctional churches that put forth a message (by both word and deed) that is confusing to the world.
The first thing I recommend as a remedy to this is that we Christians, as individuals, hold a higher view of scripture as our authority for living. As the mechanism by which God grants the gift of faith (Romans 10:17), the spiritual food for our soul (Matthew 4:4), the shaping tool by which we are to live (2nd Timothy 3:16), and the written revelation of our Lord Jesus (John 1:1), it deserves the place of highest honor in our hearts. If we fearfully learn to treasure God’s Word to do this work in us, the result will inevitably be a people who are faithful, spiritually fed, walking humbly in the Lordship of Christ. And that kind of life sends a resounding message to the world that God is supremely valuable.
The second thing that I recommend to better reflect Christ in our culture is for Christians to truly embrace one another as family as we walk with the Lord. In our culture, social trends are leading people away from intimacy and vulnerability in relationships. Intrapersonal communication is becoming increasingly “virtual”, and interaction between individuals is often conducted in the midst of “ hurried multi-tasking”. Christian fellowship must buck culture in this regard, and we must slow down and truly take the time to care for one another as loved ones. As Elmer Towns says in Core Christianity, “The very nature of a church community is the shared experience of many people. Christians share their dreams, problems, and resources, and then others reciprocate.” (p.100) Not only is this the kind of “burden sharing” instructed in Galatians 6:2, but I believe that it is an enduring testimony of God’s love to those on the outside of the church, who are looking in. It tells the lost that we are different, that the love we share is genuine, and that we have something wonderful that they do not.
In Core Christianity, by Elmer Towns, a church is a community of believers that come together to worship Christ. People have...