I was talking with my neighbor the other day when she asked me whether I go to church or not. I got the picture, but the word she used for church was "wat," the same word for Buddhist temples here in Cambodia. Our conversation continued, and what I soon discovered was that my friend saw very little difference between Christians and Buddhists.
We have a holy place where we worship God
We do good deeds in front of others (think Christian NGO Landcruisers driving around with what they do written in big letters on the side of the vehicle)
We set other Christians on pedestals (think the pastor or preacher or worship team or the missionary =) )
Our "temples,our "merit (good deeds, especially when seen by others)", our "monks" are such a hindrance to the spread of Christ's hope and salvation. Not to say that there are not even more hindrances because of how we conform to the world, but these are just some biggies here, things Chris and I and the church (God's people who meet together) are trying to rethink - rethink, as in, rediscover from the churches in the Bible. I hope we can shine brightly to our neighbors and that they can see the difference which is the Lordship of Christ and not culture.
Being in Cambodia has led me to exam so may things in my heart: To wonder if I really am different, to wonder why the world does not really see me as radical. I have started desiring to have confirmation that I am, indeed, really a Christian like Jesus calls me to be - in the world but not of it. I am finding that I have so much growing to do, so many cultural chains to throw off. I'm excited, a bit scared, but I want to be different...I long to be like Christ and not like America.
So, the first issue I have felt God leading me to deal with is family. Although I never realized it, I saw children as a burden, often an inconvenience. Now, God has reshaped me and shown me they are an unqualified blessing. After our first son joins us this summer, I plan to seek God's will on why we should NOT have another child, not why should we? What I mean is, I want to accept God's blessings from Him. I don't want to use birth control for selfish or worldly reasons or even many of the reasons I have heard from Christian friends. But this is all better suited for another post...