Rants

What are Christians like?


I used this video clip in a message this past Sunday as a parallel mataphor centered on Luke 16:19-31. What first comes to mind when you hear the word “Ebenezer”? For me, it’s Ebenezer Scrooge, and it’s not positive. I think others might have a similar response.

Check out this intro of Scrooge as written by Dickens himself:

“Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days, and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”

How are Christians viewed? The video clip contains a man-on-the-street interview from www.crazychurch.com that would indicate it may not be all too different from Scrooge.

Upon further reflection, however, I’ve come to realize that Ebenezer Scrooge is actually the poster-boy that lives can change! The words “Ebenezer” and “Scrooge” should bring to mind someone who is generous, gracious and joyful – the same which should be seen in followers of Jesus Christ. We who have been shown such lavish grace get to reflect that same grace to others around us.

But it gets even better! There is a major difference between A Christmas Carol and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Scrooge is really a story of someone earning a second chance at life. Christianity is all about a God of the continual second chance because of who Jesus Christ is and what he has accomplished on the cross and out of the grave.

A friend of mine shared at the end of the worship service this past Sunday, reflecting on the joy his daughter displayed returning to her seat after receiving a blessing and some candy during our time of communion. As shown in the face of his daughter, and echoing the word of Scrooge, he exclaimed, living fully in the grace of Jesus Christ: “I don’t deserve to be so happy . . . but I can’t help it!”

God bless us, everyone.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “What are Christians like?

  1. hey todd,
    It was totally great meeting you! I look forward to getting to know you better, even if it is from blogs and emails. Maybe someday we can come down there and visit you guys. Anyway just wanted to say hi.

    Posted by Kimbal | October 23, 2007, 10:57 pm
  2. BTW Todd, you are invited to view my blog at http://jpierce.wordpress.com/

    I have my story posted up there and other information.

    Posted by Jim Pierce | October 16, 2007, 7:12 pm
  3. We can be thankfull that God the Holy Spirit doesn’t listen to opinion polls about the work He does in people’s lives. 🙂

    “The unspiritual man simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with — they just don’t make sense to him, for after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things”. – I Cor. 2:14

    “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God….” (Rom. 8:6, 7a)

    When I was an atheist I could drum up all sorts of examples of “Christians” who weren’t perfectly following what I thought should be a “good” follower of Jesus. But, really all I was doing was justifying my own sinful nature; unwittingly, I was reaching up from my pit of death and grabbing any ole ankles I could to pull down others with me! Isn’t it true about “misery loving company”?

    I was an enemy of God. I HATED God! So, why would I give credit to anyone claiming to live for God? Why would I say that they had a better life than my own? After all, my mind (when I was an atheist) was DEAD. I had no peace of mind! If it weren’t for the work of the Holy Spirit… if it weren’t for the gift of faith God gave to me… I wouldn’t know that I was dead in sin and in need of God’s unmerited grace.

    When I watched that video I was reminded of being at a parties I attended where everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was both drunk and stoned… if someone from AA showed up and asked us what we thought about a life of 100% sobriety what could you guess most of our answers would be? Well, many of them would have been much like the answers viewed in the video. “Sober people are boring”, “Sobriety is just a crutch for those who can’t handle their drugs and booze!” and etc.

    One final point. What concerns me the most are some Christians who take such polls to heart and start questioning whether we should preach doctrine and the creeds in our churches. I am a living example of why it is important to hold steadfast to the creeds, the liturgies, sound doctrine and rightly dividing the law and gospel! The Holy Spirit speaks to us all through the word of God. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Rom. 10:14)

    With so many churches dropping doctrine for what is popular… for what will increase the number of bodies in a building… we have to remember who it is that brings sinners to salvation and the means of God’s grace!

    Posted by Jim Pierce | October 16, 2007, 7:02 pm
  4. I wonder what this man and the others think of Christians who are actually apart of their real world. It is easy to dislike Christians based on those in the media…I dislike Christians in the media! As I listened to the sermon I looked around at my fellow brothers and sisters. I know none of them are like the ones being portrayed in the video. We are all sinners and inadequately represent God but I have a hard time seeing us as offensive. What I am wondering is…are the Christians in the “anti-Christian” person’s life seen as just nice people? Would it change an “anti-Christians” perspective of Christianity if they knew the “nice” coworker was really a believer? or would they just find another reason to reject God? It does make me think that it is important to be more vocal about being a Christian but as I am learning my weaknesses cause me to fail often in being a Christ-like example. The trick is to do that without wearing a t-shirt or preaching. I’ve seen both in my office and it doesn’t work. Anyway, just wondering if the folks in the video were asked if they knew any Christians personally what would they say….

    Posted by pete & janice | October 10, 2007, 1:26 pm

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