They Like Jesus but Not the Church

The premise of this book is fairly simple to understand: The person of Jesus is a popular figure, but his bride has become downright repulsive to outsiders (or as Kinnaman called them, Unchristians).

This isn’t news to anyone who has followed or paid attention to our churches. The outspoken preachers and prominent figures of the church over the past decades have bruised and marred her face.

We’ve become known as homophobic, judgmental, hypocritical bigots who preach politics more than Gospel.

Read that again and be moved by it. Shudder. And be repulsed.

We, who are the Light of the World, are known more for criticizing the darkness than for repelling it. We, who are the Salt of the Earth, are known more for screaming at those who are perishing than for loving our neighbors.

Dan Kimball presents a compelling case that the Church needs to pay attention to.

How can we, as the Bride of Christ, move from this pathetic position and become the movement of Jesus that we were intended to be?

Relationship – We must speak truth in love in the context of relationship. The old outreach method of knocking on doors and passing out tracts is not a bad idea, but a ineffective method. Because we live in an increasingly post-Christian culture, outsiders do not hold to the same belief pattern or structure that most believers do. The best way to bridge the gap is in the continued conversations in relationship. Are we reaching out to them with the truth of Christ because we care for them or because they’re another target?

Humility – We must speak truth in humility. I can’t think of anyone who is attracted to arrogance. I can’t think of anyone who enjoys having a conversation with someone that has all of the answers and is rather impatient with your lack of those very same answers. We must be willing to listen and understand, and earn the opportunity to speak into their lives.

This book is definitely worth your read. And understand that if you don’t believe that the beliefs in this book characterize the culture that you live in, it will soon. So be prepared. Christendom is dead. The Kingdom is at hand.

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