Summary: A sermon on the social "bubble" of Christian culture and how we can reach beyond it to bring more people to Jesus.
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...
* 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:
"Christians are hard to tolerate, I don't know how Jesus does it."
"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:
* 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
Before you disregard this series of thoughts
I would like you to consider the 4 B's:
I was idealistic and naïve 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
o complaints about
and people leaving
Focus becomes -- make better
* To keep Christians in church!
Let me explain the steps of the Church Bubble
Step 1 -- Ask Jesus Into Our Lives
* Get saved
* 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
"In Case of Rapture...Can I have Your Car?"