Gandhi is quoted as saying,
I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Recently, for work, I went to a recording studio just outside of Denver. Upon arrival, we realized it was a recording studio for yoga and meditation music and ambiance, as well as audio/video recorded lessons on getting in touch with your inner peace and striving for nirvana. A statue of Buddha smiled chubbily at me in almost every room I walked into.
The one thing that stood out to me more than anything in that studio, though, were the employees. Every single one of them was calm, cool, and collected, and each friendlier than the next. It could be that they’re just really friendly to guests, or maybe it has something to do with the dispensary down the road (although I doubt it.) The employees did make the whole “inner peace” thing sound and look pretty effective and appealing.
In his book, Flickering Pixels, Shane Hipps writes that the medium is the message. Whatever you’re trying to say, it’s how you say it that really conveys the message.
I really can’t believe I’m referencing this, but if you’ve seen the Mormon episode of South Park, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The Mormon family doesn’t win over their neighbors’ hearts and minds with their Joseph Smith nonsense, but instead with hospitality, caring, and love.
You’ve probably heard someone at some point reject Christianity because of Christians, whether they live double lives, or are self-righteous, Pharisaical, whatever. And you, like me, have either heard or given the response, “Don’t pay attention to Christians. We’re messed up just like everyone else. Instead, just pay attention to Jesus and read the Bible.”
What a cop-out.
As the Church, we are to be Jesus to the world, not to just point the world to a page number and pat ourselves on the back for memorizing book-chapter-verse.
The medium is the message. How did you portray Jesus to the world today?