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

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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?"

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