So recently I have been watching Christian Cable. Not because it is ministering to me, but for the same reason people watch the TV shows that repeatedly show car wrecks. I find myself amazed and shocked at the things that I hear, and often end up laughing at the actions and antics.
I believe Christian Cable has done more harm to the Christian faith than it has done good. The personalities that have been placed on the air have become just that-personalities. The TV shows have become just that-TV shows. They have forgotten who Christians are and thus they have corrupted themselves.
Acts 3 & 4 tells the story of Peter and John healing a crippled man as they enter into the temple on day. When you read the text, after they heal the man they keep on walking. They seem to treat the healing of a man who was crippled from birth, in a very casual manner. It is almost as if healings are a natural part of life.
Notice in the beginning of the text, Peter says very little. He asks for the man’s attention and then heals him and continues to go into the temple. The only reason that people know why a man who wasn’t able to walk is not jumping is because he won’t leave the apostles’ side.
It is only after the people in the crowd begin to ask how this happened that Peter begins to proclaim the Gospel. Peter did not stand up and start shouting into the crowd he had a new message, that if they people didn’t listen they were going to die. He only began to preach to the people after they asked him to explain what was going on.
Peter does not come back with hellfire and brimstone. He does not lead off telling the people they need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. All he does is explain the story. He even asks the people why they’re amazed before he explains how this man is healed.
So Peter and John set precedence for the way we interact with those who are not followers of Jesus. This model comes directly from Jesus. In Luke 10, when Jesus is sending out his disciples to spread the Kingdom message, he tells them to go to a village and heal the sick then proclaim, “The Kingdom of God is near.” Sign then proclamation.
What are the signs today? This is up for debate today in many Christian circles. Some Christians do not believe in miracles while some do. If we find ourselves in this debate we’re missing the point of ‘signs.’ Christians believe that the work of Jesus is God putting the world back together. Signs are the evidence of this.
One of the biggest themes that I feel is over looked by most pastors in the beginning of Acts is community. It is repeated over and over that they were living together, and the great things that happen come out of this community. I think you could say that community itself is a sign; a sign that things are being put back together.
What would it look like if Christians stopped leading with our words and led with our actions? What if we began to believe that God, through Jesus, is putting the world back together? What if words like all creation is groaning with the pains of childbirth waiting for Christians to be the community we are called to be.
Sadly, this is not what I see when I watch Christian Cable.