Every one of us has our own unique gifts and talents. We are capable of doing phenomenal things individually. Simply by you being alive today is a testament to your resilience, strength, boldness and your ability to adapt; as I am confident that you have had to weather life’s storms that have challenged you up to this point in your life. Don't let another year pass by without you doing something to cause positive change in this world. In the coming year it is imperative that everyone joins in the fight for the greater good of ALL humanity. Honestly, we have sat and heard preaching that has diagnosed problem after problem, and in many cases provoked the segregation, hatred and ignorance that plagues us... all the while offering no "real life" answers for the ailments of our community. Make 2018 the year that you decide go from theory to practicum in your evolution as a person. This needs to be the year where every Christian:
1. Break down antiquated barriers that separate us as human beings.
- One thing that we should have learned from the disasters of this year is that disasters have no respect of person, religion, race, sexual orientation or any other classification that has been developed to drive us a part. I am a self proclaimed "Jesus-freak" I love me some Jesus for real! I am christian to my core, I speaks in me some tongues etc. etc. however, I do realize that I don't hold a monopoly on God or Christianity. I am by no means saying that all christians do not embrace unity beyond difference, but a LARGE majority don't. In many cases if you aren't apart of their reformation / denomination or if you don't ascribe to their interpretation of scripture most christians feel like you are less spiritual and deserve some type of punishment. 2018 needs to be a year where we confident enough in who we are so that we can reach out and connect with people from other walks of life. We are all trying to survive this thing we call life and we are all connected through our humanity... AND when we reach out and touch our neighbor we need to do so with the ora of "love the sinner hate the sin..." or "I'm only here to help you see the light"
2. Begin to exist out side of the church as real people.
We wouldn't be dealing with a lot of this foolishness if people realized America is not a big Sunday School class. When we vote we must take into consideration the "big picture." I understand that in some sectors of christianity you want America to go back to "this" and "that;" however, you can't "go back" to one thing without sacrificing something else. As the church we blame a lot of the tragedies that have befallen our country on the "wrath of God" (that is until it happens to us or someone we like /love). Saying foolish things like "when we took prayer out of school that's when all of this craziness began to happen." As a christian I can't say that prayer is ineffective but I can confidently say that prayer being taken out of school isn't the reason why America is in the shape that it is in. I personally believe that this is do not solely but largely to the church's refusal to progress and change into a socially relevant force that was and is needed in society. Of course the church must teach biblical concepts and truths, and we can't the deny the very Christ that makes us who we are as a body of believers; however many of us need to re-evaluate our understanding of the scripture. It would also do us well to take an unfiltered look at our own lives before we try to minister to others. I could reallly turn this point here into a blog in and of its self but I digress. In Short, the way we have gone about living the Christian life has been unhealthy and has produced a poor image of who Christ is and what he can offer. 2018 we will live life "in the world." and for any super saint that reads this when I say "in the world" I mean we will use the bible as practical guide without trying to recreate biblical times.
3. Hold our leaders accountable and demand honesty
- "Nobody's Perfect" we get it! That being said and understood everyone needs time to heal and this time may need to be away from your leadership position. I am not suggesting that we remove leaders with short comings but I am suggesting that we demand honesty from them, and require them to seek help when needed. Humanity is tricky and it is something we can't get a way from. Even Paul said that evil was always present when he wanted to do good. 2018 we will not force our leaders to be fake neither will we tolerate nor believe them when they are. As I move on I'll just add that we might be more effective as a body if our leadership mirrored our communities more closely...
4. Speak Up!
- I debated about this one cause I know that most of the time when we say speak up it is normally asking the church the speak up on situations that we feel they are too quiet on. This time I don't want take that approach because I feel like the wrong people are speaking up too much and in the wrong manner. In fact, this has happened so much that the church has become a joke to anyone with common sense or a general love for humanity. It seems like we can't go a month without some Christian leader saying something crazy that doesn't need to be said. To counter act this we need more of us who embody the unadulterated love of Christ to speak up! Yes, you will be accused of all kinds of things because of your balanced view, but we have to begin to speak up for the sake of those who can't speak for themselves or aren't respected enough to be heard... Everyone has a voice and we must use it.
there are is a lot more I could add but at this time I feel as though I have said enough. I would love to hear what you have to say in response to these 4 things (good or bad). Also what are some things that you feel should happen in 2018?