Citygate Students and Twenties exists to see radical, faith filled believers equipped to live a life that is drastically counter-culture, but extends immensely powerful love and compassion to the world around them.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Stop Playing Church

This weekend, was, on the whole fairly quiet. Having had a busy week, with Engine Room on Wednesday (and it was great to see lots of you there! Well done!!) it was great to get together on Sunday, see everyone and spend some time chatting.
With half term week it was great to see some of you busy AECC students sticking around for lunch. Similarly, we missed all of you who went home for the weekend, it being half way through your term.

Lunch was pizza. Lots of yummy, yummy pizza, just as Facebook promised. It may not have been Domino's but Asda did a pretty good job I thought at serving us tasty food, obviously with the help of Chef James in the kitchen.

In the evening we were able to head to the Lynton for some continued socialising, and chilling out. A good weekend followed by what I heard was an incredible night at PPP yesterday. If you were there, share the love and spread the stories of what God is doing. 

If you were in Church on Sunday, you would've heard Guy explaining for us, Romans 2 and speaking these challenging words.

"You need to be cut to the heart. You need to stop playing church. It will never change anything. It will ruin your life. 
You need to stop playing Christianity and pretending everything is fine..."

I’ve been challenged by these words, and I’d encourage you to ponder what they mean too. Are you ‘playing Church’? Are you ‘playing Christianity’? Is your life nothing but a mask, where you wear a costume, you say the right thing; you pretend you’re fine…and yet inside, you are hurt, broken and lonely. This kind of Christianity is not Christianity at all, and Guy was right when he said it will ruin your life.

Church is not a game, and neither is life. We're not playing monopoly. It's not about plastic money, tiny houses and going round in circles.

In Church, no one should be wearing a mask. It is a safe place to discuss your life, and more importantly to grow in God. If no one sees who you really are, no one can encourage or teach you.

Too much of the world, and too many Christians and non-Christians expect Christian life to look religious. Church on a Sunday. A nice cup of tea. Helping the elderly cross the road. We’re not meant to be living lives that mirror Ned Flanders or Dot Branning. We’re meant to be living lives that mirror Jesus. Jesus got to the heart of things. Jesus felt things. And He was totally dependent on His Father in Heaven.

Last week I shared some of the vision behind the kind of community we want to build amongst Citygate’s Students and Twenties. This week, you’ve heard from the front how that is to be done.

Stop playing Church.
Stop playing Christianity.

Take your faith seriously.

What would happen if you committed to God your life, and to living a lifestyle of integrity, honesty, and truthfulness? What might happen if you took off your mask and let people see how you really feel?

My encouragement to you is to get to a place where you’re willing to do that. Let’s get rid of the religious fa├žade and the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitudes. Let’s get to grips with our faith and what that means and how that works itself out in day to day lives.

Perhaps then we can destroy the idea that Christianity is about religious behavior,
coloured robes and fake smiles. Who in the world wants to pursue that? Which of your friends that don’t yet know Jesus are going to be won over by that?

Fortunately the truth is that we live under grace, we were saved by grace, and there is grace for us to change. There is grace for us to change how Christianity is seen in our nation, and amongst our friends.

Sunday morning finished with this song. Listen, reflect, and if you need to talk about things please get in contact with James or I.

Let’s allow our hearts to be changed on the inside instead of pursuing good works on the outside, for the sake of other people’s expectations.

Much Love Amigos.

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