Interactive Sermon

"Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured" ~Old Russian Proverb

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Christian Ought To Look Like A Christian... yeeesh!

A few people have asked me for the name of the book I read from during Sunday's message (8/28). It was "I Am A Fundamentalist" by Dr. John R. Rice. The section I shared recorded an incident some 35 years ago when a "couple of hippies with long hair" made a decision to follow Jesus in a church service. Dr. Rice went on to explain that in addition to making a profession of faith in Jesus, these young men needed to go get a haircut because "a Christian ought to look like a Christian". I knew when I decided to include it to illustrate a point that it would get a laugh. And it did!

Dr. John Rice was a respected theologian, author and editor. In this book and many of his other writings there is a lot of good stuff - perhaps even some great stuff. The problem for me is that I find it hard to see past the excess burdens he attaches to the good news. I'm afraid that as believers in Christ we often come across this way to others. I'm afraid that my personal views about someone's lifestyle, the choices they've made, the vices they are wrestling with, the political or social views they espouse, or whatever, might prove an obstacle in my sharing the good news about Jesus with them. Don't think for a moment I am saying that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Simply hear me say that there are times when the church can look a lot more like Pharisees than Christ - as if it is ours to discern who is a candidate to recieve God's grace.

The point I was illustrating... in Acts 8:35 Philip shares 'the good news of Jesus' with the Ethiopian seeker. It's my prayer to introduce folks to Jesus and let Jesus take care of the rest. What do you think?