Monday, May 07, 2007

This morning

I went to the gym and lifted weights with Alan Wilser (who just got back from the Nicaragua.) We were joking around with one of the women at the front desk for sometime while he was joining the gym and everything seemed normal... Ya know, people laughing... telling jokes, etc. Then for some reason Alan mentioned that I was his Pastor and that apparently was the funniest of all the jokes to this young lady. "Now you guys are really the funny guys!" she shouted... I wasn't sure how to take this and honestly am still kind of iffy about the whole thing. :)

So then that got me thinking about how I (followers of Chirst) should be percieved within the community I live in (downtown raleigh.) I guess there is no "right way" to be perceived but I was thinking after I left about a quote I read in, I believe, Blue Like Jazz where someone made the statement... "How come every time I meet a Christian Pastor, I feel like I have met a CEO and every time I meet a Buddhist I feel like I have met a holy man...?"

Don't get me wrong... I know we should connect with the world around us as Jesus did and sometimes appearing "holy" could be reason to keep a distance... but I wonder... Maybe there is nothing wrong with being a bit "what ever it is" that allows someone to feel they have encountered a "holy man". Not for the sake of being something that you're not but at least being what you are. For a while I felt like it was only acceptable to be a "professional" or a "hand shaker and a winker" if you wanted to "lead something"... but maybe there is something to embracing peace that could be a bit more attractive than having everything together...

that was a rant... I am trying to keep the posts short... hard to get all of this out in a short post... I am just saying - I dont want to be the norm. I dont want to be a professional Christian that shakes hands and kisses babys. I want to be a revolutionary the way that Jesus was... I find myself wondering how he would be perceived. I gotta believe people followed him around for reasons other than nice clothes, nice cars, or a great smile...

(please don't post a comment saying something like "Just be yourself.."

thanks for listening... feel free to say/write anything else...

peace...

-J

5 comments:

Corey Paxton said...

hey bro

i'm glad you are seeking a more authentic faith that is not salesmanish and image oriented--

jesus redefines holiness for us= holiness is being integrated and centered in God's Spirit and character in our life and relationships---i wonder if the tension you are feeling is around impressing others or trying to be funny rather than being holy?----

i understand yet resist Miller's idea---a true buddhist seems odd because they are separated from the attachments of the world-this is enlightenment in their mindset and is very different than Christ's kingdom that transforms are desires to reflect God's character of humility, sacrifice, mercy, justice, faithfulness, goodness, passion, self-control, gentleness, compassion--- a holy different character that is able to welcome the outcast, stranger, alien into real relationship

I think it is potentially good the lady couldn't believe you are pastor because her idea of a pastor might be really weird

keep pursuing authentic humility, justice, and grace over image and impressions and you will be salty

maybe i missed your tension and read my own into yours, if i did please don't beat me up

jason said...

i will not fight you (for this)... I am certain I am more concerned of what others think than I would like to admit...

thanks for your thoughts my friend...

peace

Jason said...

It seems to me that we should be at least a little bit concerned about how people perceive us. About a year ago one of my coworkers invited a bunch of us out for beers at Horniblow's Our department admin was absolutely shocked that I was going. I'm not sure how I felt about that either.

Personally, I try to focus on personal holiness and making myself a living sacrifice. But I also want to make sure that I am gracious with those around me. I never want someone to be surprised that I'm a Christian, but I also don't want people to feel like they have to be guarded around me.

To me, this also ties in with how we "do church". We want to be real, relevant, authentic, etc, but we also want to be true to Truth, right?

Mike said...

this is good stuff...

problem 1. it's hard to not care about what others think. that's why we go to the gym. *coughs*

ok enough of that -

Jesus told us that the world would know us by our love for each other. There is something to a watching world looking at our lives and noticing that we are marked by something different than them...

keeping this short...

problem 2. you chose a different workout partner.

Dan Tan said...

Highest compliment I every received at an open mic was from Nathan Asher, who told me, "your words ring true."

I sing about tragedy and redemption and God, and Nathan commented that some people who do that seem forced and pretentious. Like they're mentioning "God" and "Jesus" in public just to fulfill their holy quota.

Nathan said I sing it like I really believe it, so the words ring true.

American culture is hyper-sensitive to fakery and insincere messages. We have to be sincere and honest before the world in order to have credibility. But we must not swing to the extreme where we eliminate the raw and controversial "edge" to the message that we are all sinners in need of God's grace and forgiveness, and that Jesus came to save us from our sin.

After all, what good is it if by our sincerity we earn the right to be heard, then fail to share the heart of God's message?

Just my thoughts...