Be challenged and inspired by Francis Chan – paragraphs 2 and 3 are particularly striking.
“During my time in India, the commitment level of the believers there shocked me. I visited thousands of Christians who had been beaten or watched relatives murdered for their faith. At one point I said to one of the leaders, “Every believer seems so serious about his or her commitment to Christ. Aren’t there people who just profess Christ but don’t really follow him?” He answered by explaining that nominal Christianity doesn’t make sense in India. Calling yourself a Christian means you lose everything. Your family and friends reject you, and you lose your home, status and job. So why would anyone choose that unless he or she is serious about Jesus?
I witnessed that same passion during my time in mainland China. The highlight was attending a meeting with underground church members training to become missionaries. The way they prayed and gave testimony about being persecuted was convicting and encouraging. The most surprising part of our time together was when they asked me about church in America. They laughed hysterically when I told them that church for Americans tends to focus on buildings and that people will sometimes switch churches based on music, child care, preaching or disagreements with other believers. I honestly was not trying to be funny. They laughed in disbelief at our church experiences, thinking it was ridiculous that we would call this Christianity.
Keep in mind that the population of China is over 1.3 billion, and in India it’s over 1.2 billion. Meanwhile there are around 300 million people in the United States. This means that we are a small minority. Our views of “Christianity” are peculiar to the vast majority of the world. I used to think of those “radical believers” overseas as the strange ones. Some simple math revealed to me that in actuality we are the weird ones. The majority of believers on this earth find it laughable that we could reduce the call to follow Jesus and make disciples to an invitation to sit in a church service.
From Crazy Love by Francis Chan, published by David C Cook, 2013. Francis Chan's writing about Americans is equally applicable to the British.