Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shattering My Christian Bubble:

Acts 10:15
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

The book of Acts presents an ongoing tension between the Jews and the Gentiles.  For God's chosen people (The Jews), it was hard to believe that God would love their surrounding communities- enemies and all- as much as He loved them.  For the ancient Jewish people, from the moment they were born they were taught that everyone else was "unclean".  It was hard for them to believe that God carried the same affection for others that he did for them.  But He did...and He wanted to use the Jews as agents of that love to the world around them. 

I know we are out of the era of Jew/Gentile.  In fact, we see men and women of all races, colors and cultures in the body of believers. That's the norm.

But I was convicted of another category of tension that I struggle with as I read this passage.  The tension between Christian- and "NonChristian".  

For many Christians, they find themselves completely separated and disattached from the world around them.  In the Christian college I attended, we called this the phenomena of the "Christian Bubble".  You work, study, eat, and live and fellowship among Christians.  There is little exposure to the world around us...the real world that we live in.

In fact, some Christians even adopt the faulty mentality that to be around "NonChristians" is in a way "impure". 

To say that mentality is problematic would be an understatement.  God cringes at the hypocrisy in that sort of a lifestyle.  Christians can have a tendency to claim that they want to reach the broken...but ironically, they don't have relationships with anyone who would consider themselves broken, lost, or in need.

"God calls us to be in this world but not of it", is a statement I hear all the time, justifying the separation of Christians from the rest of the world.  Not wanting to expose themselves to "bad language, alcoholic beverages, and secular music" Christians tend to take on the role of a hermit, hiding from anything potentially troublesome.  But frankly, some Christian communities are becoming so inclusive that they might as well not even be IN this world, much less of it. 

I definitely don't want to be that kind of a Christian.  I don't want to be the kind of Christian that cringes at the thought of getting my hands- or my heart- a little dirty.  I want to be a Christian that followed in the footsteps of Jesus, reaching out in relationships to people past my worldview, past my belief system, and past my comfort zone. 

In Peter's dream, God shattered his perspective on what it meant to love past his boundaries...and He is doing the same for me.  I hope the same for you. 


  1. In the world and not of the world...

    It doesn't mean just taking up space by physically being "in" the world. It means to be involved in the world while not being influenced by it - and even more so, being an influence to the world.

    Bill Maher recently made a commentary that somewhat "nails" the idea of Love actually...kind of...a little. (watch it on YouTube)

    I would just skip the first 3:40 or so - it's in the last minute that he really says what many Christians miss about Jesus. (seriously, skip the first 3:40 - not worth it really - it's about Osama and Christians and justice....) But, in the last minute or so, he reflects on how many Christians just don't follow (some not even believe) what Jesus taught.

    And, I seriously think he isn't saying this to be mean - but rather because he knows what he's talking about - unlike many who claim to be Christian...."Love your enemies".

    His statement around 3:56-3:59 "I can say that because I'm a non-Christian, just like most Christians" almost too true.

    "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

    If we are not active among the world - how would anyone who needs to hear of The Hope and Love of Jesus.

    The passages in scripture that people use to defend their separation life-style are taken out of context...they were written to groups/churches who were in positions of danger or otherwise needed to be 'hidden' from society - not because they didn't want to be influenced by the outside world, rather because they needed the protection...

    Oh...anyway....I'm not a big fan of separation-ism. ;)

  2. Chris, so are so right about those passages written to churches who were in danger of their safety. We, on the other hand, in the Westernized have total freedom...but fear being "disliked" rather than death. Sad.

    Thanks for your thoughts!...As usual :)


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