Posted by justicetabernacle on June 27, 2011
the more i’m out and about in this crazy city in which i live, the more i come to this realization… while some christians may look at a city like berlin and immediately begin to discuss how ‘dark’ it is- or how hard it is for ministry to take root in a place like this, i have begun to find a major positive in it all.
because the church is so irrelevant in this place, and in a lot of ways has really been neutralized, there is great potential. i have come to the conclusion that because the church, and a body of Christ-centered people is so rare in the culture, that it is much easier to talk about it in normal conversation. basically, because the church is more ‘neutral’ it is far less polarizing on the surface. so when you bring up the word christian in normal superficial-conversation, you very often will not get any kind of push back, and there is not an immediate wall that you encounter. people may find it ‘odd’ but there is not a violent hostility toward it.
this is a very tricky place to live out faith. on the one hand, it is encouraging as you do not feel a lot of immediate persecution. on the other hand, you can also, if you are not mindful and careful, float along in this place of ambiguity for a while. you can almost be wooed into a lackadaisical faith- one that is not challenged directly, but also one that is not invigorated. the positive is that there is a low bar, easy entry kind of thing that happens- the danger, is that things do not go deeper and there is a lack of general true commitment to anything.
this is why, even as i meet together with my team for the project, that i consistently talk about how we have to have to create a place where the doors are flung wide open… so that all are welcomed in- experience life and love. but also, that we ourselves, have to be well equipped and strong in faith. that we have to challenge ourselves to go deeper and anchor ourselves in truth- being connected and guided by the Holy Spirit- so that in the place of ambiguity, we can have substance.
berlin will not chew you up and spit you out (unless you are a moron that antagonizes people on street corners) but it can lull you to sleep- or gently lure you away from your path, in the most friendly and damaging way.