Summary: A sermon on the social "bubble" of Christian culture and how we can reach beyond it to bring more people to Jesus.

INTRO

Video "The Bubble Boy" -- Seinfeld

 I am so excited about my new bubble

 No germs -- no sickness

 But hard to live life

o Have friends

o Have a job

o Relate to people

 Eventually I would die.

* Yet many Christians have made this their clothing of choice

* And Christians look as ridiculous as I do

* Living in this bubble is what I want to talk about in this new series

EXAMPLE: Kirk in the bar

Lady at the bank

* Today, Jesus is a fad

o Bobble heads

o Action figures

o Jesus is my homeboy

* Johnny Cash and Marilyn Manson wrote and sang:

"My Own Personal Jesus"

* Green Day wrote

"Jesus of Suburbia"

* Bruce Springsteen

"Jesus was an Only Son"

- Lunch boxes

- Wrapping paper

* The New York Times recently wrote an article on how Jesus is becoming part of...

 Fashion, and

 Designer clothing

* My concern is that people are looking for Jesus

* But want nothing to do with His church

* Perhaps two of our pop culture icons statements best describe a nations feelings:

1. Bono

"Christians are hard to tolerate, I don't know how Jesus does it."

2. Gandhi

"I like your Christ."

"I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike Christ!"

* It is from these statements that I would like to start a new series.

 I would imagine the non-church-going world, if they were here, would shout the loudest amens

 And the lifers -- the church-goers I risk making extremely uncomfortable and perhaps upset with me.

 Yet my intention is to restore the perception of the:

* Church

* Christians, and

* Then God

Why the Controversial Title -

"Escape From Christianity"

 The word Christian = to be 'Christ-like"

 Yet we've become very distant from who Christ is

 Some people aren't even comfortable saying they are Christians

o They've invented new terms like

 "Christ -- followers"

o To avoid negative and distorted images.

 I often hate to answer the question about what I do

o Don't mistake

 I am not ashamed of the Gospel

 I am ashamed of many in the clergy

EXAMPLE: The relationships I've built

Before anyone knew I was a Pastor

-bikers

-gun shows

-tattoos

-gym

-business men

 Before you disregard this series of thoughts

 I would like you to consider the 4 B's:

THE BUBBLE

THE BATTLE

THE BARRIERS

THE BREAKTHROUGH

1. BUBBLE

 I was idealistic and na├»ve when I first entered ministry

 Thought I would spend my time reaching and helping non-Christians

 But instead, I began to spend most of my time

 Dealing with

o complaints about

 music

 sermons

 and people leaving

 Focus becomes -- make better

 Programs

 Music

 Sermons

* To keep Christians in church!

 Let me explain the steps of the Church Bubble

Step 1 -- Ask Jesus Into Our Lives

* Get saved

* Excitement

* Telling all your friends

* You then had non-Christian friends to tell

* A new Christian is a great evangelist

o Stats tell us that they usually tell an average of 20 people about Christ in the first year

Step 2 -- Assimilate Into Church Life

* We get involved in to Church life

* We make new friends

* Get involved in church activities

* We begin to slowly lose touch with non-Christian friends

* The longer we are Christians, the fewer non-Christian friends we have

* And the stretch is to

o Socialize with Christians from another church

o or denomination

* I know we need and I appreciate the Christian Community

* However, it seems ironic

o That the more mature we become

o The more we know scripture

o The stronger and more transformed we get

o Fewer non-Christian friends get to experience our spirituality

* The only relationships we have is

o With a goal to convert

o Not be-friend

* We send money to missionaries to tell people about Jesus.

Step 3 - Association Discrimination

EXAMPLE The Truman Show

* All relationships outside the church are gone...

o Except for the holidays!

* We now see evangelism as a task

* An event driven by the leadership

* The only purpose for non-Christian friends is to

o "invite them to church"

* We stop praying for our friends (intercession)

* Only praying for the church program you're involved in

* We start buying

o Little fish for our cars

o T-shirts

o Bracelets

o Christian

 Radio

 TV

 Language

 Style

 Bands

 Bumper stickers

"In Case of Rapture...Can I have Your Car?"

* Talk

o I have a check in my spirit

o The Lord spoke to me

o Prayer warrior

o Fellowship

* Spend our time and money making church better for ourselves

* And life more comfortable for the saints

Step 4 -- Aggravation

* Aggravation = Annoyance

Exasperation

* We look piously at the 'lost world'

* How could they do that?

* What's the world coming to?

* We sit around in church

* Talking about how blessed we are

* Not to be like them

* We treat the church as a social Christians-Only club

* Switch churches based on the amenities of the club

* Calendars packed with church stuff

Song "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful

Wife

And you may ask yourself-well...how did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/after the moneys gone

Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself

How do I work this?

And you may ask yourself

Where is that large automobile?

And you may tell yourself

This is not my beautiful house!

And you may tell yourself

This is not my beautiful wife!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/after the moneys gone

Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Water dissolving...and water removing

There is water at the bottom of the ocean

Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean

Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/in the silent water

Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/after the moneys gone

Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself

What is that beautiful house?

And you may ask yourself

Where does that highway go?

And you may ask yourself

Am I right? ...am I wrong?

And you may tell yourself

My god!...what have I done?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/in the silent water

Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by/water flowing underground

Into the blue again/after the moneys gone

Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...