Michael Frost is the Founding Director of the Centre for Evangelism and Global Mission (CEGM) at Morling College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of numerous books, and a leading missional thinker. His most recent book is Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture.
It’s comments like this that I like
Mike, you quoted Keith Miller who said, “Our modern church is filled with many people who look pure, sound pure, and are inwardly sick of themselves, their weaknesses, their frustration and the lack of reality around them in the church. Our non-Christian friends feel either “that a bunch of nice untroubled people would never understand my problems”; or the more perceptive pagans who know us socially or professionally feel that we Christians are either grossly protected and ignorant about the human situation or are out-and-out hypocrites who will not confess the sins and weaknesses (they know intuitively) to be universal.”
This quote cuts deep, but the alternative is painful and difficult and there aren’t shortcuts. How do you suggest we take our pretend masks off and be ourselves around each other?
Mmmm, well you’ve kinda answered this yourself, and you’re right – it’s painful, difficult and time-consuming. So was the Incarnation. Jesus came to us to reconcile us to God. It was painful, difficult and time consuming for him, so why should we imagine it being any different for us? It will involve eating with others, sharing life, spending a lot of time together, and undertaking joint projects that bring out both the best and the worst in us. Living with people (both Christian and not-yet-Christian) like this will naturally, sooner or later, bring to the surface issues, problems and weaknesses that require us to be vulnerable and honest. Our problem is that nearly all our interactions with others take place when we have some measure of control over the situation. Frequency of contact and a shared commitment to a challenge will shed light on the real issues quickly enough.
I heartily recommend SmuloSpace… by John Smulo.