a glimpse towards Sunday 5.3.13
CHURCH ALERT! For a richer experience this Sunday, bring 3 bills to church (one small, one medium, and one big one). You can bring a utility bill, a credit card bill… whatever you can lay your hands on.
Now… consider this new research study:
Barna researchers presented a series of 20 agree-or-disagree statements to self-identified Christians. Five described “actions like Jesus” such as, “I regularly choose to have meals with people with very different faith or morals from me.” Five statements described “attitudes like Jesus” such as, “I see God working in people’s lives, even when they are not following him.” Five described “self-righteous actions” such as, “I try to avoid spending time with people who are openly gay or lesbian.” And five statements described “self-righteous attitudes” such as, “I feel grateful to be a Christian when I see other people’s failures and flaws.”
How did respondents do? Just over half (51 percent) demonstrated the attitudes and actions identified as Pharisaical. Only 14 percent represented “Christ-like” actions and attitudes; the rest were split between actions and attitudes.
About one-quarter (23 percent) of evangelicals were “Christ-like,” somewhat above the average, but they were also the only group more likely to be Pharisaical in attitude but Christ-like in action. (That’s food for thought.) Women were more likely to be “Christ-like” (18 percent) than men (9 percent); “liberal” Christians (22 percent) outranked “conservative” Christians (eight percent).
In earlier research, Barna discovered that 84 percent of young non-Christians say they know a Christian personally, but only 15 percent say the lifestyles of those believers are noticeably different in a positive way. The new study suggests that “many Christians are more concerned with what they call unrighteousness than they are with self-righteousness. It’s a lot easier to point fingers at how the culture is immoral than it is to confront Christians in their comfortable spiritual patterns.”
Hmmm. What do you think? This Sunday morning finds us in a section of the book of Mark (7:24-30 & 8:11-13) where Jesus is dealing with Jewish, finger-pointing, religious people (Pharisees) and Gentile “heathens.” Both groups need a sign from Jesus. Only one gets their request. What determines this? Are you needing affirmation, guiding, or a sign from a Divine Designer? You should come Sunday and find out how this works.
They say it’s really going to be raining come Sunday. The message and text is so critical to the times we live and your life, I’m asking you to think like a duck and not let anything stop you from coming — and bring a rain-fearing friend with you!! J
AND… DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR 3 BILLS!!!
Can’t wait to teach. I think you’re going to find more grace nuggets!
(BTW… if you’re new and have never been to our Newcomer’s Lunch, we have one this Sunday after the 10:30 service! Sign up by clicking here.)
Weekly Giving | 04/28/13
Weekly Need $29,000.00