I found Micah through a fellow Christian blogger’s website.
Micah left an incredibly insightful comment, and I had to read more. Once I clicked his picture and read the first blog post, I couldn’t get enough. From Jesus to relationships to the realities of the Church, Micah doesn’t hold back. I’m honored to have him participate in this interview series.
Micah J Murray believes we are all in the middle of a big, beautiful movie directed by God and ultimately about redemption. On his blog RedemptionPictures.com, Micah writes about Jesus, culture, church, politics, equality, and life with his lovely wife and two handsome little boys. In addition to writing, Micah takes pictures and shoots videos, and makes websites. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
How would you describe Christianity?
Oh boy. That’s a tough question right off the bat, because “Christianity” can mean so many different things. It’s once of the most loaded words in our culture too, I think, because it can be so intensely personal to most people – either positively or negatively. I wrestle with that question a lot, honestly. Some days I think Christianity is the most beautiful story ever told about a Creator who loved the creation so much that He became one of them. Other days I think “Christianity” is a bogus subculture full of schemers and politicians and manipulators. Words are tricky like that, because they can be so messy.
Do you see the Church heading in a particular direction?
I think that there are a lot of good things go on in the Church right now, and also some scary things. I see a big move toward theology that seems to be obsessed with the wrath of God, and that’s definitely concerning. But I also see a broad movement to recover some of the Gospel that we lost to the culture wars and intellectualism. I see the Church reconnecting with her ancient roots, rediscovering sacraments, embracing non-violence and justice, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. And those are all really good and beautiful things.
Do you believe there’s a gap between what Christianity is (or what it has come to represent) and what it should be?
Again, that varies so much based on each individual person, experience, and subculture. I can’t speak to all Christianity everywhere, but in my experience, I’d say that Christianity has certainly failed to live to up to what it was meant to be. Too often Christianity has been too concerned with numbers, business models, moralism, doctrinal purity, and the afterlife. Too often we’ve forgotten the children, the stranger, the oppressed. We’ve spent too much energy drawing lines and keeping others outside, I think we’ve forgotten that Christianity is a religion that welcomes the outsiders and makes the Kingdom theirs.
How would you like to see Christianity progress over the next generation?
I’m not sure if I can answer that, really. It seems that the Spirit of God is moving, and I hope we’re brave enough to follow. I hope we are known for justice, compassion, and love.
In your opinion, what (or who) is the biggest motivating factor in the younger generation’s faith?
I don’t know that we’re that different from any other generation, when it comes down to it. I think we want a faith that is real, that gives us a sense of purpose, and a sense of belonging. I think that we are particularly jaded by commercialized religion and the unholy marriage between politics and religion. As a result, many of us are looking for something more holistic and authentic.
What is an encouraging trend you’ve seen in the Church recently?
I love seeing people embracing social justice and non-violence, recovering that aspect of Jesus’ teachings. I’m also really happy that so many people who have walked away from the Church or from Christianity for a season are finding their way to healthy spiritual communities and expressions of faith. I also love seeing churches return to the ancient Creeds as their Statements of Faith.
On your website (redemptionpictures.com), you tell a story about how you almost walked away from your faith altogether. Would you be able to pinpoint a specific person, moment or event that turned things around?
It’s been more of a long process. I spent most of a year praying “Help my unbelief.” Eventually, I felt faith growing in my heart again. But it’s not been the same sort of faith as what I lost.
Do you do anything specific to live Christ out in your daily life?
I pray throughout my day, very conversationally.
What steps can individuals take today to show the love of Christ in their lives?
I think that the most important thing to do is to be open to love. Listen for its whisper in your day-to-day life. Reach out to those different then you. Be empathetic and try to identify with the experiences of others.
Do you currently support any movements or organizations our readers should know more about?
I’m part of DeeperStory.com. I also really like what the folks at the Praxis Conference are doing.
I hope and pray you received as much encouragement from Micah as I have. Now, we’d like to hear from you!
What would you like our generation to be known for? What’s an encouraging trend you’ve seen in the Church? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts!
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