Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NOT MARKETING JESUS

It is not our job as Christians to market or promote Jesus, but to follow Jesus

ONE OF THEM. I am a Christian and an ordained Christian minister. I don't lead with that, usually. I don't wear a clerical collar. I don't put "The Rev." in front of my professional name associations. I am just as happy to fly under the radar screen of officialdom and social association. I don't need to be overtly recognized as a Christian or Christian minister. Certainly, I'd rather not be associated with these in any negative stereotypical sense.

NUANCE MATTERS. I am a Christian and an ordained Christian minister. And, while I don't lead with these and profoundly dislike the erroneous ways these are frequently presented or presumed, I am these unflinchingly. I have chosen to be a follower of Jesus Christ and embrace the promise of the Kingdom of God among us conveyed through the Scriptures as the best approach to life, relationships, conflict resolution, and community. I don't embrace everything that is said or done in the name of Jesus Christ or Christianity; in fact, there is much said and done in Jesus' name that is misleading or flat-out wrong.

FINDING VALID VOICES, PRACTITIONERS. Every now and then, however, I come across people who think, write, act and live in ways that I feel are quite consistent with the heart of the Scriptures and the living Word of God. Helmut Thielicke is one of those writers/preachers that I think rings true to the cause. I pulled this quote from him a few years ago and came across it a few days ago--and it refreshed me as I think about my new role as Director of Advancement with International Child Care Ministries.
"Mission' becomes necessary to carry this message into the world of gods, idols, and ideologies. It must be done as though we were spreading a little bit of propaganda for the sake of expanding Christian conviction and a particular nation's way of life. It must be done because Christ is the Lord and the very theme of the world..."

"We are not Christian activists, drumming up business by grabbing the arm of the Lord and stretching it across the world through proven advertising techniques..."

"The situation is exactly the opposite. If we have rightly understood the message of the ascension we know that His arm is indeed
already stretched above the world and all we have to do is to follow this outstretched Hand. Our task is not to figure out how to master the public; we are only to be in earnest about make the Master public."
In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility.

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Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.