Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crazy Quiz. How crazy are YOU?

(this post was written for the Brook Hills women's blog

When I was asked to write a blog post for Brook Hills Women, I thought about a lot of "normal" things I could write. Something about single parenting. Something about finding peace in divorce. Something about using your singleness for God's glory. But, God has really laid a burden on my heart lately to live my life in such a way that other Christians around me will think I am crazy......and maybe they will start to get crazy too.

What do I mean by "crazy"? You know. "Those people". The ones who have giant multi-colored families. The ones who have perfectly good American lives, but choose to move their families to some unknown place in the Middle East for the sake of the Gospel. The ones who choose to adopt a child who is HIV+ or has another special need. The ones who just refuse to live like "normal Americans" because they are on the Jesus crazy train.

Let me clarify one thing: I think there is a big difference in a Christ FOLLOWER and a BELIEVER.

F=Follower. Followers are typically the crazy people. They take what is in the Bible and actually apply it, in tangible and visible ways to their lives. Their lives look different to the world. They stand out. They get labeled "do gooders" or "Bible beaters".
B=Believer. Believers are those who claim Christianity. They believe the Bible. They believe in Jesus. But, unless you catch them at church on a Sunday, you likely won't see them living out what they believe.

{Disclaimer: This part is important. The answers in this quiz are based solely on my experience and how I THINK a follower or a believer would answer these questions. Neither of these are my answers. I want to be a follower, but I don't claim to be one. And I don't think I will ever fully arrive, and neither will you. Because the only perfect follower was Jesus.}
So, now that you have the picture in your mind of what crazy is, let's find out how crazy you are:

The Crazy Quiz

1. Do you believe that all disciples of Christ are called to be disciple makers?

F: Yes. If you are not actively working to create disciples then you are being disobedient. That is the whole point of being a Christ follower. We are called to be like Christ, and making disciples is what He did.

B: That is what missionaries are for. I am not called to be a missionary, so I give my money to the church each week and I am sure they are making disciples because we get new members all the time.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age". Matthew 28:18-20

2. How do you feel about missions? What about orphans and widows?

F: I believe John Piper said it best: "There are 3 types of Christians when it comes to missions. Zealous Goers, Zealous Senders, and Disobedient.". Everyone doesn't have to move to a village in Africa, but we should all give our time to serving and spreading the Gospel in a different context (i.e. outside of our comfort zones) whether here in the US or overseas. I think the same holds true for orphan care. You don't have to adopt to care for orphans, but many Christians are called to adopt and don't. Adopt or care for those who do. And that means a lot more than writing a check. If the church was more supportive of those who do adopt, maybe more Christians would step up and follow the nudge in their hearts to adopt as well.

B: I think missions are great but I just don't feel called to actually go anywhere. I don't feel called to adopt either. But I will write a check to those who do feel called to it. I don't know any widows, but if I did I would certainly try to care for them!

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15

 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

3. What do you think happens to the THOUSANDS of people who die every day in our world without ever hearing the Gospel?

F: Unfortunately, I believe they perish eternally. God is loving and just. That is why the call to take the Gospel to the nations is so important and urgent. Jesus died so that all may have eternal life. The church needs to step up and do what it takes to get the Gospel to the nations because that is our job.

B: I don't think God would send someone to Hell just because they never heard of Him. That doesn't seem fair or merciful at all.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:16-20

4. Do you want God's kingdom to come?

F: This world is not my home. I desire to be with God and spend eternity worshiping Him! There is so much pain and suffering in this sinful world, and I long for the day when Jesus will return for His bride. That is why I am so compelled to be a part of taking the Gospel to the nations.

B: I know that everyone will die someday, but I don't WANT to die. I like my life and although I know it will come to an end someday, I am not looking forward to it.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, 
and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

5. Do you expect to suffer as a Christian or do you think Christianity guarantees you an easy life?

F: Here in America, being a true follower of Christ goes against everything that our culture believes. Culture says get more stuff even if you can't pay for it. Culture says you deserve freedom, and happiness, and prosperity. Christ says deny self, and follow Him. I don't think we will all experience the same types of suffering, but the Bible seems to say that suffering and persecution go along with following God. So if you aren't suffering, maybe you aren't truly following..........

B: I think as long as I am going to church and being a good person, I shouldn't have to worry about suffering. I think God loves us and wants us to be happy and have good lives while we are on this earth. I got saved so I know I am going to heaven......

    In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. II Timothy 3:12

 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33


I could go on and on with this quiz. Actually, I did in my first draft. But, the point of this post is not to provide an exhaustive list of answers that will make clear whether you are a believer or a follower. The point is simply to make us think about our faith and if it is evident in our lives.

I struggle daily with the knowledge that the Gospel is so lacking in many places in this world, but it is so widespread here in America. But what do we do with this great Gospel? How do we live as Christians in America? Do we really believe that Jesus actually meant all that stuff He said in our Bibles or have we created our own version of Christianity that suits us and our culture? Have we decided somewhere along the line of history that being a Christian in America means simply going to church on Sundays and spending the rest of our time focusing on ourselves and our stuff?

The Bible tells us that even the demons believe.

So I don't want to be just a believer anymore. I want to be a follower.

  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he
 does and not by faith alone. James 2:19-24

So...............who wants to hop on the crazy train with me?



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