Afflicted on All Sides: Church and Isis

“We want more than the wars of our fathers” are some lyrics from Switchfoot’s song We Were Meant to Live. They stick in my head as news media proclaims ludicrous clips. It seems like there’s a lot of stories on the news about how people are “trying to join Isis”. Unfortunately it seems like many who are claiming to make this attempt are Millennials. Every time I ask myself why? In America, thankfully, we don’t know too much about growing up with a war being a norm of life. Personally I hate the thought that any child grows up in land were war is normal, and certainly God didn’t make us to be a hateful killing people. But it does happen, and this is hard to understand.

I think we need purpose.

Jesus clearly says that the enemy “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” and this is not what God is about. Instead Jesus make the statement, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Life being the very opposite of the one who comes only to steal and kill and destroy. But it goes on from there.

Knowing that not everything goes perfectly in life, Jesus continues to explain, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep

Too often I find myself asking why those who call themselves Christians or even church leaders, don’t act according to how the Bible describes God’s people or act similar to God’s own heart. Too often Jesus is right, the hired-hand runs away and leaves other Christians to face all kinds of attacks alone. Some are utter devastating and fatal to our faith, and this just isn’t the reflection of Jesus… or at least it shouldn’t be. Yet for some of us, this is what we’ve come to know as Christianity.

There are horrific articles, blogs, books, seminars, and other public gossip about how the Millennial generation is lost to the church, and how the church mildly mourns this loss. But I mourn these articles, blogs, books, seminars, and general public gossip which seem to make it ok and a cultural fact instead of grave news that brings us utter sorrow. The more I hear of it, the  more accepting people of it, as if it’s merely how it is at this time, and there’s nothing to be done to change it or even to slow the loss of life.
These are hired-hands which flee in the time of our need. This is not how Jesus works. Yet too often this has become the representation of Christianity to our modern world. So much so that the news frequently reports that Millennial-aged people -who the church doesn’t care about anymore- flee this land of freedom to go unto Isis who comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

That thing that is claiming to be “the church” but does not act according to the ways of Jesus, and does not reflect the heart of God is liar!

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me … and I lay down my life for the sheep.” This is how Jesus conducts changing the world.

Jesus also makes the statement that, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

I say there is a reason that modern day mainstream church can’t get Millennials in or to stay in their system. I say they know of voice of the Shepherd and what they’re hearing from modern churches isn’t it, and they scatter. and the hired-hands let them scatter because it’s not their sheep, they don’t care. Because you can’t actually pay someone to care.

But I do care, because those sheep are part of my flock. It’s not okay to say that the Millennials have left “church” and oh-well we’ll get em next time. It’s not okay to watch a generation be discarded and think that changing music or sermon topics is “the golden key” to making a difference. Sing what you want, preach what you want, that still ain’t the voice of the Good Shepherd calling out, and I for one am not coming to it. I don’t think anyone else is either.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Shame on any of us so-called Christians, who allow a generation to scattered then watch them get snagged into a death-trap. Shame on any of us who tisk at some young life that would “attempt to join Isis” but never pray for a generation that’s been left out on a hillside to die because we thought they weren’t perfect enough. Such things are obviously not the work of the Good Shepherd. Such attitudes are never heard from the voice of God. As a matter of fact, this is indeed the one thing that God said “never entered my mind“; Sacrificing one’s children for the sake of prosperity is never something a Godly church would do.

I want more than the wars of our fathers. I want life, and I want it to the full. It is not okay that Millennials refuse “church” who are suppose to have the words of life, but flee to Isis, a culture of death. I fear for the elders and leaders of the modern mainstream church. How will they answer God when they’ve allowed or even endorsed such things? That is NOT the church.

We live here & now on purpose. We Millennials are not a mistake. We are not a kink in time or in church fluidity. We will not find our purposes fulfilled in politics or surfaces scratching. We will not be distracted when the Good Shepherd calls to us, and we will follow his voice. We do not follow the voices of strangers, and we will run from them if needed.
I will pray the for leaders who knows the worth of the flock is in each of the individuals, and in them being together.  I will continue to pray for the confused scatter flock of this generation, but I will not for sake them to the wolves.

This is my generation.
This my Jesus.
but that thing isn’t church.

Advertisements

One thought on “Afflicted on All Sides: Church and Isis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s