April 8, 2020
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Christianity’s Negative Past

As a student in high
school, it is very hard to talk about Jesus to my peers. How would you suggest bringing Jesus into the conversation in an environment where being a Christian is
often seen as a negative thing? Yes, I understand that. You know, they say in the first century, the Christian religion
was an unknown religion, but in the 21st century
the Christian religion is a failed religion. We’re working from a negative deficit. We’re not even working from zero up. We’re working from a negative deficit. We’ve been in charge of Western culture for a few centuries and we blew it. We were violent, we were
judgmental, and we overtook. We supported empire and the overtaking of other people groups and countries and we spread the gospel by the sword. We did a horrible, horrible job with it. When Christians have power
they do a terrible job, which is always fascinating to me why people think we’ve got to make sure we get a Christian in government. I think, really? We have the worst track
record on the planet frankly of having power. Why? Because the teachings of Jesus don’t really teach you
how to use power well, ’cause the teachings of Jesus tell you to lay down your power. Always put down the sword. Lay down your power, and
serve from the bottom up. Don’t try and control and
convert from the top down. Serve from the bottom up. They always have it. So when we say, well
how does Jesus teach us how to steward our power well, there’s actually no teaching there. Just lay it down. So, we’ve failed as a religion
in many different ways, and so both for students,
especially for students, but for all of us, this is an honest thing we have to wrestle through. Christianity is seen, I say at the end, as a negative thing, being a Christian is, and that’s why I would
just love to remind you that what we’ve been talking about here can apply in this context as well. You become a spiritually curious person and you ask lots of questions. Nine out of 10 people may
not want to talk about it. Or they might tell you what they believe and not return the favour
and not care about you. That’s fine. You’ve still met some lovely people, learned some things about the
core of what defines them. And that doesn’t have
to turn into a debate. You can just move on
if they’re not curious enough to ask you any questions back. That’s up to them, but that’s okay. That’s not failure. But you may also, see that’s something you can’t complain about, and
that’s actually Christians serving from the bottom
up, caring about others, practically serving
needs, being respectful, and also being interested
in what they believe. I would suggest that is a season for us as a faith that we need to enter into, and I think that’ll apply both at school and other places as well. And then you’re ready to respond if they are asking you questions back. No pressure, pressure’s off.

Jean Kelley



  1. Moses Hammond Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    I find some of the points here hard to swallow spreading the gospel by the sword? Christianity having the worst track record on the planet of having power! Really? Maybe we should leave this with historians