It deserves the love of Christians with the heart to live with them, speak their language, live life together, serve families, share truth in a loving manner, and disciple those who elect Jesus Christ.
As a family we have a heart for Europe. Our new non-profit The Port Royal Society is the extension of a great Christian idea born in Paris in the mid 1600s. This post comes from a recent conversation with a friend who is serving others in Europe and returning there today. He is not bringing American Christianity to Europe, but the Gospel of Jesus to individuals.
We’ve met many good-hearted people serving in Europe in the name of the faith over the last decade with some doing good work, and others proliferating bad ideas.
Bringing American Christianity to the streets of Europe will push Europeans further away from the Truth.
Europe built upon, and was built upon by the Christian faith. Paul spread the news throughout Europe of a risen messiah. Clement and Augustine cultivated that faith in a dangerous environment. Constantine popularized the movement and set its creeds. The Catholic Church with great care assembled our Bible. The monks of the dark ages guarded the foundational documents. The reformers brought us back to basics of the faith. Modern science was birthed from seeking to understand God - All of this from the streets of Europe.
Europeans deserve so much more than American Christianity.
It’s important to define American Christianity, these ugly heresies that connects itself confusingly to the name of Jesus Christ. Joseph Mattera defines it by its contrast to the truth here are some of his with some of my additions:
American Christianity focuses on individual destiny. The Bible focuses on corporate vision and destiny.
American Christianity focuses on individual prosperity. The Bible focuses on stewardship.
American Christianity focuses on self-fulfillment and happiness. The Bible focuses on glorifying God and serving humanity.
American Christianity centers on emotion. The Bible provides true truth no matter our feelings; however, it does not neglect our emotions.
American Christianity ends in conversion. The Bible says make disciples, not just converts.
American Christianity appeals to using faith to attain stability and comfort. The Bible encourages believers to risk life and limb to advance the Kingdom
American Christianity usually focuses on individual salvation. The Bible deals with individual and systemic redemption.
American believers have a consumerist mentality regarding a home church. The biblical emphasis is being equipped for the ministry.
American Christianity promotes a culture of entertainment. The Bible promotes the pursuit of God.
American Christianity depends upon services within a building. The biblical model promotes a lifestyle of worship, community and Christ following.
American Christianity is about efficiency. The biblical model is about effectiveness.
American Christianity trains its leaders in Bible colleges. Biblical Christianity nurtures leaders through personal mentoring.
American Christianity focuses on the believer’s experience. The Bible tells us to focus on others.
If we are to serve Europeans it must be with great thought. They are a cerebral type that have little room for street yelling and white affluent kids seeking validation in mission trips.
Europe needs Christians that are:
Committed to living in Europe for life.
Committed too and learning the language of a community.
Focused on a select community, not this ridiculous talk that you are going to save all of Europe.
Intertwined in the personal lives of a few. Jesus focused on 12.
Not using an American in your face evangelical approach, but relationship building while seeking opportunities to share faith.
Europe does not want what you are selling. The only hope for Europe is to show them who God is through our actions while speaking on an intellectual level that over time will expose the heart.
When Pope John Paul II was a young priest in Warsaw he didn’t dance in the street, invite missionaries in from Rome, or yell at people as they walked by. He invited the men in his community who did not attend church to go hiking. This afforded him the opportunity to participate and speak into their lives.