Thursday, May 14, 2009



As followers of Jesus we are to be all about "good news", so why do Christians feel the need to traffic in bad news? How unattractive and off-message the present-day negativity is. This negative spirit is filled with condemnation, exclusivity and a certain amount of pride that we (whoever the we who happens to be talking at the time) are right and those who are not with us are wrong. It's summed up with the phrase "ain't it awful".

"Ain't it awful" is used to raise money for Christian TV and radio programming. "Ain't it awful" is used to grow a ministry or build a church. "Ain't it awful" is used to build and grow Christian schools. It's so awful out there in the world that we must have this given ministry, program or school in order to stand against the world.

"Ain't it awful" is used politically to attempt to make the point that God has a given political position. Websites are built around it; books are published and promoted. Even major conferences take this on as a theme.

"Ain't it awful" is also the theme of the prophecy movement today. It's like there is a gleam in many Christians' eyes how bad the world is getting. At least once a week I am confronted with another comment on the latest perceived sign of the end of the world-the latest conflict in the Middle East, the threat of Iran, the global economic crisis, etc.

Those of you who claim you are followers of Jesus ought to get on with it and follow Jesus. If you are intent on following Jesus, you will find it difficult to share anything other than Jesus. If you are intent on following Jesus, don't spend any amount of energy concerning yourself with "ain't it awful"; instead share the love and hope of Jesus.

If it is awful out there (and in so many ways you can amass evidence that it is), what is sharing the details about it going to do to solve the problem? By the way it's always been pretty awful! Ask the millions of followers of Jesus over the centuries who have been persecuted and/or even slaughtered. And, that same awful persecution is going on today.

SO, there are two many Christians who are followers of Jesus who have become too caught up in the bad news of the world. You can't have it both ways. It's nearly impossible to be focused on the bad news and share Jesus as the good news at the same time. Bad news always trumps good news. This is why insidious gossip travels faster than the truth!

ONE MORE THING: There's another "ain't it awful" movement within many missions organizations around the world today. These Christians are being persecuted and killed daily in some countries. Now, in many of these situations the missionaries are intent on "converting" the natives to Christianity and pulling these people out of their cultures. It's no wonder they are being persecuted and killed. For the most part, they are bringing it upon themselves!

No missionary is capable of "converting" anyone; only God can transform a person's heart. And, no missionary ought to be sharing and defending the religious system of Christianity, as if it might be able to change anyone. It isn't Christianity; it's Jesus! Jesus is the good news. How a person responds to Jesus is the most important thing of all! So, introduce people to Jesus-the most irresistible one ever! You see, it may be awful out there in the world, but Jesus is awesome and He is the one who can change any and all bad news into good news.