The church should contain every kind of person

When you come into a community, into a Christian community […] it’s a human instinct to look around and, if you kind of like the community and you think you might want to be a part of it, there’s an instinct to conform a little bit to the way things are done.  How do we dress around here?  Okay, I see a pattern, I can do that.  I’m going to church now, I’ve gotta get my hair cut.  I’ve gotta get a Bible that looks like that guy’s Bible.  I gotta master the vocabulary here and learn to talk the talk a little bit.

What is it at [your church] (external culture things)?  Maybe I’ve gotta learn to drink better coffee in the morning.  Maybe I need to learn to drink better beer at night.  I’m not completely joking.  That’s not for everybody – the coffee and beer thing – and it cannot be what defines us.

Do not ever think that belonging to [a Christian] community means that you need to change your external habits – in regard to unimportant things.  Because in the church, we should have blue highlights and tattoos.  We should have polo shirts and khakis.  We should have sundresses and t-shirts, skinny jeans and mom jeans, goatees and cornrows, long hair, short hair.  The church should contain every kind of person, but every kind of person enthralled and captured by the same Jesus, our living Lord.  Because whenever the church is identifiable by its cultural externals, we’re done, we’re done.

So if you come to church, I want your drive to be, I’ve got to know Jesus better.  He has gotten my attention and I need to go further in relationship with him.  And then, the really important things flow from there, like loving people, for instance.  So […] if we can be characterized by love for Jesus, and love for people, we’ll be doing alright.  Amen?  Amen.

Marc Davis, “What you need to know”, 20 September 2015

Why is that?

Tonight, Zoe asked me a very simple, yet poignant question.

During our family devotions tonight, we were discussing how the Peter on the day of Pentecost was wholly unlike the Peter on the night Jesus was betrayed.  Completely unrecognizable.  On the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter denied three times knowing who Jesus was.  Yet in Acts 2, Peter gives a sermon where he sounds as if he has been preaching on the subject for years on end.  How can we but chalk it up to the Holy Spirit?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

Is this not the power of the Holy Spirit being poured out in Peter?  Only the Holy Spirit could have brought Peter from his state of fear and denial and turned him into a theological titan.  Using this example, I applied this to our lives as we bear witness for Christ, something I’ve long struggled with.

“You know, sometimes we are afraid to talk about Jesus with other people.”

Zoe: “Why is that?”

“You know, that’s a very good question.”

This coming on the heels of me recently listening to a Marc Davis sermon entitled “Discipleship and Real People”, where he calls having faith like a child Christianity 101, but also as doctoral studies in Christian theology — the simplest things can also be the hardest.