Hbr 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Nice popular Christianity is no Christianity at all. Now, I know there are some groups who enjoy speaking about controversial subject. They seem to enjoy shocking and offending. We should not speak with that kind of motivation: it does not reflect the Spirit of God or his word, but there are more that err on the other end of the scale. We want to serve up the message in a palatable way and sometimes we compromise truth in the process. We ought to speak the truth in love: tough love sometimes, but love nonetheless. The problem is that the sloppy agape that oozes out of us today is not real love because it is devoid of truth or at least has watered down the truth to a large extent.
The cross, historically, was not a thing of beauty. It was a thing of reproach and shame. It would equivalent to having a little noose or electric chair pendant hanging around your neck. We used to talk about the unsaved now we talk about the unchurched. God is not interested in seeing people churched he wants to see them saved. Christian meetings used to be services and now they are celebrations. No doubt there is much to celebrate but there is also much to mourn and lament.
The gospel is both exclusive and inclusive. The bible calls to whosoever will, but it also that they that believe not are condemned already. Christ rejecting sinners are doomed to hell. Jesus is not only a way, He is the only way. We used to pray and preach and try to get people to accept Christ- now we are trying to make Christ to the world.
Worship used to be based on a knowledge of God’s attributes and acts and it grew out of a mediation on them – know we think we know God based on our experiences in worship. In reality we are like those in the scriptures who erected an altar to the unknown God. We worship we know not what. The true worshippers will (as Jesus said) worship him in Spirit and in Truth. We have mistaken the sensual (things experienced through the senses) for the spiritual. The Holy Spirit is emphasized but is he really manifested?
Jhn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Jhn 16:7-14 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Does this in any way describe what we see today?
We have operated for far too long under the philosophy that we need to be like the world to win the world. The only result is that we have become like the world. To People want to see a difference. If we are no different why would they want it - they already have that. Difference convicts. Not the difference of outward appearance. Not the difference of pious language or any other hypocrisy. The diffence of a changed heart and life. The difference of inward holiness. The difference of a true walk with God.
We have tried to package Christianity in a way to pander to the world in order to win. We have tried to remove his stigma. We have tried to show that we are intellectuals. We have tried to show that we can be hip and have fun. We have tried to fit in with the crowd and we have lost everything that is important. Christianity has a stigma. It is supposed to have a stigma.
1Cr 1:17,18,23,24 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Let’s go without the camp bearing his reproach
It is time to seek the Lord and to return to bible Christianity. It may always be nice. It may not always be popular. It will be the right thing to do. It will please and honour God. It will cause his blessing to fall. It will glorify him. It will cause others to want and to trust him.
Let us simply seek him, yield ourselves to him, and then do and say whatever he tells us to and he will bless.
I actually do agree with what your overall post says. We aren't supposed to shock and offend, it depends on what the message is. Jesus shocked and offended many, mostly the power of the day, the sadducees and pharisees. The Apostles shocked and offended many, once again the leadership of the world. Now this is where the message is important, there are two very different messages and within those many variances. If it is the sin focused message that doesn't shock anyone, it may scare some, but no shock. It is because of God's Agape Love that we love him. Without that Love we would still be under God's Wrath. Colossians 3:14-22 I'm not going to write it all out, but will hit a few points. "having forgiven ALL trepasses" not some, not until you sin again, ALL! 14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Ephesians 2:15-22 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that He might make in Himself one new man out of the two, so making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were nigh;
18 for through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore, ye are strangers and foreigners no more, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
20 Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in Whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
The mourning is that many will be lost, because they know not of the height, width and depth of God's Love for us. That we need only truly accept Jesus' Sacrifice and be saved. I have lived better on accident by having just a sense of God's agape Love, than all the time put together when I thought God still condemns me for my sins. Also, many would say that's just a license to sin, seems like many are sinning extremly well without a license! I celebrate every day including at Church, I praise the Lord everyday that is the Joy of The Holy Spirit. All of this comes from just a taste of knowing God's Love for us and sharing it with others. Is there still hardships, sure but all the hardships of this world are trivial, compared to God's Love for me! I can have Joy through any hardship. Unless you have been a quadrapalygic whose stomach quit working, bowels, bladder stopped working, then I have been through far worse than you have. Yet, God's Love for me conquered ALL! So I will take sloppy Agape Love over what you have to offer any day of the week!