Hi, everyone! :) It's time for Faithful Friday! :D
Faithful Fridays is a weekly "meme" hosted on my blog. I made it so that Christians could have one day out of the week (Friday) to share something from their Christian walk on their blog. If you'd like to participate, write your post, grab the button from the Faithful Fridays page on my blog (so that it will link back here), and come link up at the bottom of this post! :)
So, a little while back, I mentioned a movie/documentary called Beware of Christians.
This movie is about four college Christians that go on a trip to Europe. They visit England, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, and more. The mission of their trip? To compare routine Christianity in America to Jesus' actual teachings.
Now, at first, this may seem like any other documentary. But it's not. I promise.
It's packed with so many truths and ideas to think on and ponder that you want to watch it several times to keep getting what you can out of it. And I love that!
There are also funny (hilarious) parts sprinkled (dumped) all in the movie.
And just know right now that you can go watch it on Netflix Instant Stream at any given time. Just sayin'.
So, these four guys from Texas, Will Bakke, Michael Allen, Alex Carroll, and Matt Owen, grew up in the kind of "average Christian way"...they went to church, they called themselves Christians, and so on, but they later realized that they weren't doing something right.
So they decided to put all of their preconceived ideas about Christianity that had been put into their heads growing up to the side and began studying God's word and having conversations with others around the world and looking at the differences between American Christianity and true Christianity, and looking at how people view American Christians.
They touch on everything--the stuff you think you know, the stuff that no one wants to talk about, and they're really honest. They talk about money/wealth/poverty, the church, entertainment, materialism, sex/relationships, and our overall identity as Christians.
And guys, this movie is something that will make you realize that even if you think you've corrected all or most of your "religion" tendencies and turned your faith into a relationship....you might be wrong. This movie is convicting. It holds a lot of truth. It'll make you think. It'll put things into perspective.
I watched it by myself, then we watched it as a family a little while back, and then I watched it again yesterday. And it hit me with a few more things. It's just something that you'll keep coming back to.
I think this verse kind of sums up the movie (to me).
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Beware of Christians encourages us to drop all of the "religion" and rules and routines and appearances and everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles....because first of all, those things are not what Christianity is about, and second of all, if we're supposed to be shining a light, well....we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (the WORLD), and guys, one of the most common things people say about Christians is that we're hypocrites or that we judge.
Let's walk the talk--you can talk about your faith, but just make sure you walk it out.
Because I think we can say that at least half (or maybe more) of American Christians today have forgotten what it means to really be a Christian--a follower of Christ. They've stopped picking up their crosses and following God.
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
But maybe there are those that don't really know what it means to be a Christian.
Have you ever realized, when sitting in church, that the way some pastors introduce the most important thing ever--salvation through Jesus Christ and the life of following Him--is just...incorrect? I've heard it done plenty of times. The pastor explains that there is a heaven and a hell and everything...and he says that all you have to do to go to Heaven is say a prayer. And to somebody new that just comes and sits in church, that sounds great. Like, "Oh, wow, all I have to do is say a prayer and I'm a Christian and go to Heaven? Awesome! I want to do that!"
And yes, to have the assurance of going to Heaven when you die, you must turn from your sins, believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for your sins....and then give your life to Him. But that last part is taken so lightly! Guys, becoming a Christian needs to be a big decision. You need to be in it 100% or nothing. You need to completely hand your life over to Jesus and want His will in your life completely. It's no little thing. It's the most important decision you'll ever make!
We're always told to beware of the bad things and people in the world--the sin--and that's really important...but we need to also beware of the people that claim to be Christians but aren't living their lives sold out as followers of Jesus. And we need to beware of becoming that type of person.