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What your church is “known” for.

January 26, 2010

There is a quote out there floating around in quote air by someone who is really clever at creating quotes that says

“It’s better to be known for what you are for, rather than what you are against.”

Normally I write so that the posts show up in the morning. Today was different. And now I know why.

I was working on a job (I do handy-man stuff along with church things) and out of no where the person I was working for decided to start talking about church. They knew from a previous job that I had done for them that I worked for a church too.

The conversation took its course. I talked about Jesus Christ, my faith in Him and how He gives the people that I work with a Hope. They were mainly interested in the social side of the gospel. The conversation then turned to how churches are in communities to help the people who live in them. They are there to bring a hope to that area.

Then it happened. I should have seen it coming. They started to talk about a church in the area. I know this church to many great things… both for the kingdom of God and the local community. They acknowledged that the church does some great things, but thought it was known in the community more for their peoples political views and thoughts on homosexuals.

Remember the quote? I know it’s not fair that a dozen political nut jobs ruin it for the rest of us, but the truth remains. People remember what you are against not what you are for.

So how do we fix this problem? Thoughts?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 1:01 am

    I am actually talking about much in the same tomorrow on my blog.
    I am asking a big question, much like you did here.

  2. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    January 26, 2010 4:42 am

    Hey thanks for taking the time to read this stuff! So how do we fix it? You have any thoughts?

  3. January 26, 2010 5:41 am

    We know political parties both by what they are for and against. Democrats are pro-gay rights. Republicans are against same-sex marriage. Maybe the church is too strongly tied to the Republican party. Or maybe, our country is so used to these political sayings that it is easier for a Christian to say “I’m against same-sex marriage” vs. “I am for homosexuals as people but I don’t agree with all their lifestyle choices.” The point comes across that the Christian is “anti-gay” and that the “pro-people” position looks like a spin anyways. Maybe the church should work to become less aligned to a political party (because both parties are essentailly for themselves and against eachother’s platfoms). The church should continually assert that they are FOR people, communities, the Gospel… And when the church does stand for something its FOR that is not politically correct, oh well. The church doesn’t need to win votes or a popularity contest.

  4. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    January 26, 2010 3:06 pm

    Well said Grace. I agree that churches should defiantly not align with political parties.

    But what about the people in the church? As a pastor, I am expected to vote with the right wing (or at least that is what I have been told), so if the congregation feels that way… how are we to explain to the congregation that we don’t need to get into that scene?

  5. January 27, 2010 3:41 am

    Well, first of all, its pretty hard on the church’s non-profit status for a pastor to endorse a candidate from the pulpit. I’ve had a great example from my senior pastor. He talks a lot about politics off-stage and addresses topics every once in a while in a sermon. He is always clear that no party or candidate ever has it totally right and that the #1 objective for a Christian is to pray for their leaders/government/country. If a congregation wants me to vote a certain way, I would politely tell them that they are free to vote for who they want to and I have the same right. I would also remind them that Republicans and Democrats both have issues in their platforms that Christians should support. If they want to turn their noses at a decision I’ve prayerfully made, then I guess I will just have to live with their disappointment. I mean, if you want this change to happen, this separation between the church and the Republican party, its only going to happen by people standing up for what they believe, those beliefs being Republican… or not.

  6. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    January 27, 2010 1:43 pm

    Nice. I am glad you have had a good example. And you are correct that in the end sometime people are disappointed.

  7. Craig Riggle permalink
    January 27, 2010 9:02 pm

    Some great thoughts. I think sometimes we forget that we will face persecution from the world as we follow Christ. The church is for people being set free from sin wether that is homosexuality, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. Anytime you say “set free” then you are automatically labeled anti fill in the blank. I’m not sure if we will ever overcome that or if we want to. I do think some churches can get to political on issues which leaves a bad impression on the community. But I think it comes down to people don’t want to know their living in sin. Anytime you take a stand for seeing people set free from whatever, you know whats coming.

    Our church has been called a cult and that we brain wash people because of the life change that has gone on in someones life. We’ve even had some walk away from the faith because of the persecution. And we did nothing wrong. We only preached the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings change and hope to all, and let that change the persons heart. But again, not everyone sees it like that. It’s a shame. We even had a parent tell their child they would rather see them buy a case of beer than a Bible. Why? There child was growing to be more like Jesus everyday in all that they did.

    So I’m not sure the church can correct anything, unless the only thing they do in the community is preach what they are against. But even when you only preach what you are for, persecution is coming. Somebody is wrong and no one likes being wrong.

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