It was a treat to choose DVDs to watch over the holiday. Amazon had come up trumps and got the parcel to us in time.
But once my flat-mate and I were ready to view one, we had the frustration of trying to get into the DVD case. We faced the the perennial problem of how to penetrate the cellophane!
I used finger nails, teeth and finally a sharp kitchen knife to burst through and peel off the offending wrapper. The frustrating thing was that I could clearly see what was inside, yet could not get through the outside layer to enjoy the movie (It’s a Wonderful Life is wonderful, by the way!).
The whole process made me think:
How do I package Christianity? Do I add a frustrating barrier which prevents people discovering the real Jesus Christ?
We can put off those who might otherwise be interested in finding out more by:
- Using Christian jargon to people who don’t understand it – instead of using language that is meaningful and culturally relevant.
- Being critical and ungracious about the beliefs and practices of others – instead of simply sticking to the positives of Christianity
- Gossiping, complaining or demonstrating any other un-Christlike behaviour – instead of reflecting the character of Christ
- Thinking, “I know what I believe, that’s good enough for me” – instead of being prepared to answer questions about our faith
- Giving the impression that salvation is for only a selected few – instead of welcoming opportunities to interact with people of every background.
I persisted in getting that wrapper off the DVD because I knew what was inside and I really wanted to enjoy the movie. But if I create barriers, how long will someone outside the church persevere in seeking answers to their questions, comfort in their sorrow or security in their sense of lostness ? The way of salvation should not be shrouded with a clinging barrier, but open and accessible for all.
Are there any other things that you would add to my listof barriers? Feel free to add a comment!