Faith in the city
We don’t want to be submarine – Christians who only come up to the surface on Sundays. The true litmus test of our faith is not Sunday attendance, but Monday faith.
Faith in the City
We love a great Sunday church service. People are coming and participating, you can feel the great atmosphere in the place. But the big faith test is not so much what we do on Sunday, but rather what we do on our Mondays.
One of the biggest threats to authentic Christianity is a form of hypocrisy which can be called “submarine – Christianity”: Some Christians only surface on Sundays (and that often quite loud and noisy), but stay well below the radar during the week, hoping not to be “recognized or exposed” as Christians.
Jesus dealt quite harshly with that sort of people. He famously quoted from the book of Isaiah: “these people worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matt 15:8). Authentic Christianity is not about our dress code or behaviour during church meetings, but about our entire lifestyle.
A big part of what we mean with our statement “to make a difference” in this city is our desire to equip
every person in our congregation to take their faith back to their homes, workplaces, hobbies and recreational activities. We will only be able to see change in our circumstances if we are that change that we desire to see in others.
So how can we have faith even on Monday? It starts when we view our families not as burden, but as more important than ourselves. When we see our jobs not as necessary evil, but as opportunities to practically share the love that we have encountered in Jesus. “Faith on Monday” is another way of saying that we want to walk the talk.
Reflecting God's image
What does it take to bring our faith to our homes, families, workplaces, recreational activities? And beyond that, into all our relationships inside and outside the church?
The bible says that as human beings we are created in the image of God. That implies that it is our vocation to wisely and lovingly steward the rest of creation and reflect the beautiful personality and characters of God into all the world. Through the rebellion of humanity and the fall described in Genesis 2, however, our ability to do that properly has significantly decreased.
This is not to say that there aren’t good things happening in this world, but a brief look into a newspaper will remind us of all the harm human beings have continued to bring onto our planet. Environmental pollution, maltreating of animals, wars and fights are just the headlines that powerfully show that we have not done a great job in living up to that vocation. The bible calls that “sin”.
The beautiful message of the gospel is, however, that Jesus has taken all of that away and restored to us the ability to shine God’s love and character into the rest of creation. He forgives us our sins and he restores to us the ability to fulfill the great commandment he gave us: to love God and to love others as ourselves (Matt 22:35).
Precisely this is how we can carry our faith into everyday life: by “loving well”. Loving God, loving others and loving ourselves well is one of our key statements as a faith family. If we love well, we are reflecting God’s image into every sphere of life, thereby transporting our faith from the pew into the working place, from the pulpit into the family, from Sunday into Monday.