Pretzels and Salt of the World

Pretzel

Here’s a picture of those pretzels you can buy at the ballpark, or by package (what we did). Interestingly enough, my kids don’t want the salt and even when I heat them, they still don’t eat them (with or without the salt). But I *only* love them with the right amount of salt. Funny how too much makes them taste bad, but too little and it just isn’t the same…

What I wonder is how we Christians are perceived to those that are not.

What terms are we associated with (check out these awesome posters that put these terms in a visual context)?

  • a community
  • conversational
  • humble
  • authentic
  • relevant
  • truthful
  • gracious
  • loving
  • kind
  • merciful

Obviously, Christianity as a whole probably isn’t viewed equally in these terms (no surprise – there is quite a diversity of interpretation especially involving church denominations). But what got me wondering about this post I’m Not On The Bus. Here’s a snippet:

I’m easily distracted from the Gospel, and I don’t want to be. I want to be single-minded about the gospel. Evangelicals these days WANT to be distracted. They are on buses of every kind, and I don’t want to be on any of them.

They are on the culture war bus. I have no hope that Christians can save the culture through politics. All that money could feed the poor, start churches, fund missionaries and mercy ministries. Giving it to ads on TV and Radio in hopes of making America a “Christian” nation is a waste of time.

Evangelicals are on the family values bus. Various kinds of fascinations from courtship to homeschooling to large families have evangelicals’ attention these days. I’m not interested. I believe the family is fundamental to God’s creation order, but I don’t believe I am going to save the world or even my children by following the blueprint of some family values guru. The notion that women and men can undo the fall by the various stratagems of the family values crowd amounts to a different plan of redemption, one where Jesus gives us principles for raising kids.

I’m not on that bus. Justification is by Jesus, through grace and faith. No one is justified by cultural wars or family values.

I wonder about this, sometimes a lot. Specifically with regards to some radio stations… the politics involved. I’m just not sure if pushing for my values to my politicians is the right way either. Don’t get me wrong – I have contacted my senators/representative on some topics I do find really important, but I really don’t like for every single issue that is raised. I’ve discussed with some over sending my kids to private school versus public schools (still not sure about that one).

The more I re-read that post, the more I agree with it. I was trying to discuss this with a Christian friend I work with, and it was hard to explain. That post really hits the nail for me.

Getting back to my initial story about my topic – what I wonder is through all of these other things, how are we perceived? Maybe “perceived” isn’t the best word, but my concern is through our words are we closing the door blindingly to the Truth for others? Pushing so hard our viewpoint (creationism/certain political party/fill-in-the-blank) so as to shut the door to others? Where is the love and humility in that?

Are we salt to the earth? Are our words filled with grace and seasoned with salt? I know I fail a lot in my words, especially to the most important people in my life – my family… we all do.

The last post that got me thinking about this topic – Am I an Atheist? Here’s a snippet to get you thinking:

I just wonder: if more Christians took the position that God is simply equal to Love, would we have fewer atheists? Or if more Christians defined atheism as rejection of an angry God and acceptance of a loving God, we’d have fewer Christians and more atheists? Is there really a difference? What they are both really seeking is simply Love.

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