the weblog of Alan Knox

Bubble or Cocoon

Posted by on Dec 1, 2008 in blog links, discipleship | 6 comments

Mark at “the untried” published a very good post last week called “The Church of the Christian Cocoon“. He writes about being a “good Christian” according to the predominant Christian culture in the US. But, what about to those who need to know Christ? Mark writes:

The list could be endless. The point is I have come to realize that when I was fully immersed in the Christian culture I did all the right things to be considered a model Christian within that culture. I followed all the rules, regulations, legalisms, doctrines, and creeds as well as anyone I knew. I played the game. Yet, when I ask one simple question it all crumbles around me.

Did those who needed Christ the most see him in me?

The answer to that is unfortunately a resounding no. Those in my circle patted me on the back. To them I was a good Christian. I was living my life for God. But was I really? Sadly, the answer to that question is no also. My life rarely touched anyone for Christ that did not already call themselves a Christian.

There is a problem when a believer’s life rarely touches the life of an unbeliever. I wrote about this in a few posts last year. But, I called the phenomenon living in a “Christian bubble”:

Bursting the Christian Bubble
Reaching Beyond the Bubble
Bursting the Christian Bubble: update 1

Whether you call it a cocoon or a bubble, God does not call his children to huddle together apart from the world. He calls us to be in the world even though we are not of the world. In the last year especially, God has been teaching us to step out of our bubble.

Are living in a Christian cocoon or a Christian bubble? Get out! You won’t find your calling or purpose inside that bubble!


6 Comments

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  1. 12-1-2008

    Alan,

    Good post. When I finally decided to step out of my “bubble” over a year and a half ago, the biggest lesson I learned was seeing my theology really being put into practice. Which is why so many remain in the bubble.

    I didn’t understand what contending for the faith meant until I was spending most of my time speaking and caring for those who did not and don’t believe.

    Loving your neighbor really comes to light when your neighbor does not look like, think like or have the same values as you do.

    So our bubbles are safe, non-threatening and in some respects do not deepen our faith in Christ. But Alan when you are among those who do not know your dependence on the Christ and the Holy Spirit is so much greater.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. 12-1-2008

    Alan,

    A very important matter to help our brethren to understand.

    These different analogies are very telling. For a number of years now I have used the term “Christian Prison”, partly because the syndrome which binds folk to it is similar to that affecting long term prisoners.

    When many prisoners are set free, they cannot function properly because they don’t have the props they had when “inside”. They have learned to be dependent for their accomodation, meals,health, etc, even their security.

    For me, the saddest thing to observe are people, claiming to be Christian,whose security is not in Christ and His finished work, but utterly dependent for their understanding of Scripture, for their relationships with others, for their understanding of how to live, and function, as God’s children, and on and on.

    I am confident that some “pastors” understand this as well, and cultivate the syndrome in their, so-called, converts.

  3. 12-1-2008

    Phillip,

    Exactly! When we live in Christian bubbles (or prisons, to use Aussie John’s terminology), we don’t think we need Christ. When we live in the world, but no of the world, we consistently recognize our need and dependence on Christ.

    Aussie John,

    “Christian Prison” – I think that’s an apt description.

    -Alan

  4. 12-1-2008

    First, thanks for the link Alan. I look forward to reading the links from your blog. This journey has caused me to become very annoyed with the person I used to be. Sometimes even to the point of being ashamed of it. I’m just working on pressing forward though and doing what I can from here on out.

  5. 12-1-2008

    Mark,

    Thank you for a great post! I often think the same thing about the person that I used to be. I think this is a good thing – we should always be growing and changing.

    -Alan

  6. 12-2-2008

    At times, leaving the comfort of a Christian bubble I have gotten into is the hardest thing to do.

    Let’s face it, it is easier to tell the Gospel to people who have already heard and trust in it.