If the Christian truly follows the Christ of the Bible and wants to impact this planet positively, then he will spend significant and intentional time away from his church buddies and in the company of people who are fundamentally not of his stripe. Yes, if you follow the life of Jesus as lined out in the scripture, you?ll quickly see that the majority of his ministry went down outside of formal religious buildings filled with proper religious people.
Jesus? faith was not afraid of the mean old nasty world. Y?know ? I could be wrong, but I?m pretty certain about this: part of his whole reason for showing up 2000 years ago was to embrace, grace and change people whom most religious folks would spit on. Christ carried his work off road and away from the Lysol-disinfected ?sacred? surroundings that all the religious indoor boys must have in order to subsist, and instead took his hearty convictions beyond the pavement and was ? kinda ? successful.
Imagine that! Jesus, minus funky religious hats, robes, wands, bumper stickers and a friendly environment, effectively revolutionized the planet via his robust out-of-the-orthodox-box faith. And guess what, Christian? You can too. It will not necessarily be that easy, but it is ? necessary.
Look, if believers really want to change things which are detrimental both to the soul of man and the soul of our nation, then we must have a faith that can thrive outside of the religious biosphere we have concocted. I?m talking about a Christ-like rowdy belief that will not wilt when it is tested to the hilt and is completely comfortable being in ?uncomfortable? surroundings.
In order to get to such a place of influence, the modern Christian must glance back for directions. Throughout church history, when the church was at the top of its game and not doing goofy stuff in the name of God, but instead bettering the planet, it was usually because they took onboard the following four vigorous disciplines, namely:
1. They incorporated what they believed into their daily grind.
2. They bumped up the quality of their spiritual experience.
3. They had a passion for effective action.
4. They labored for personal, ecclesiastical and national reform.
* These points were originally taken from J.I. Packer and then mangled by me.