Making Christianity Relevant Again

 
Sometimes I come across something so true and so well written it deserves repeating at least in part.  This is part an email adapted from Richard Rohr, an unpublished talk, Canossian Spirituality Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 3, 2016 emphasis supplied. 

 

Our religion is not working well. Another year has ended—a new year begins—in which suffering, fear, violence, injustice, greed, and meaninglessness still abound. This is not even close to the reign of God that Jesus taught. And we must be frank: in their behavior and impact upon the world, Christians are not much different than other people.

The majority of Christians are not highly transformed people, but tend to reflect their own culture more than they operate as any kind of leaven within it. I speak especially of American Christians, because I am one. 

Let’s be honest: religion has probably never had such a bad name. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and often as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. Some of us are almost embarrassed to say we are Christian because of the negative images that word conjures in others’ minds. Young people especially are turned off by how judgmental, exclusionary, impractical, and ineffective Christian culture seems to be. 

Rohr has a potential solution: 

Most Christians have not been taught how to plug into the “mind of Christ;”

In Philippians 2, Paul counsels us to be of one mind and that mind should be the mind of Christ, a mind that puts others first and is humble above all things. How do we do that? How do we plug into the mind of Christ? I think we have to consider how we plug into anyone’s mind, how we really get to know how someone thinks. There is no substitute for spending time with them. We all have someone or someones whom we so greatly admire and so much want to be like that we do whatever we can to spend time in their presence. 

I saw a convicting “tweet” today that asked how much time do we spend in wasteful endeavors as compared to the time we spend in the word and more importantly, with \the Word. 

I have found one way that helps me. Recently I had reached a wall in my swimming. I couldn’t get past a half hour of doing laps. I got bored before I got tired. I discovered some swim proof headphones. I listen to music that engages me and puts me into a spiritual frame that allows me to spend time with Him. Now my swim time only ends when I notice that I have something else that I need to do. Everything else is temporarily blocked out. It’s just me and Him. When my schedule finally calls me out of the water, not only is my body refreshed but so is my mind and spirit.

Try to find a way, personal to you, that you can spend more time with Him. If we can’t plug into his mind, we are stuck with the self-centered mind of the world.  If we are to be real Christians, we need to be really like Him. We need to have His humility that put others above himself. It’s what attracts us to Him and what will attract others. Nothing else will be helpful or attractive to a world in great need.

 

 

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