"We are insular. We’ve built a parallel universe. Instead of intersecting all the avenues of culture (arts, government, finance), we’ve built a separate domain. We have our own music awards, radio stations, bookstores, cruise ships. We eat with people like us, vacation with people like us. We go in for port calls but we scramble back.
We need the capacity to see beyond ourselves (John 4:34-35). The biggest problem the disciples had was they grew up in church. Most of us need to get over our church experience. In a lot of Christian crowds, there are relatively few new disciples. This should scare us.
If God had given the Pharisee’s line, John 3:16 would say, “For God so loved the church...” The Pharisees talked about the kingdom of God too, but they thought it was all about getting enough people to behave. People who think we will bring in the kingdom by fixing the culture - only Pharisees think like this.
Pharisees - “You want God, come and get it.” Religious people are always a problem for God. Dress like us, become like us. Pharisees had their own subculture. We are the Pharisees. Everything we love to hate about the Pharisees is what the culture sees in us. They don’t associate Jesus with his followers."
Oh, man, that really hits home, doesn't it!