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A Little Too Vague: Defining Christian Behaviors

Let's face it.   Christians, for saying they are full of light and love, can be some of the worst stinkers around.  It is no new thing, either. Just ask Paul and the church at Corinth.
Since the 1980's dozens of books on feuding churches, bitter church people, ethics, burned out preachers, and church fighting have been written.  Thousands of good preachers left the church due to the nasty conduct of good 'Christians.'  
I propose the main issue is that we talk in abstracts to a literal minded people.  Imagine, for a moment, if you sent you teenage driver out to the streets with the type of instruction on behavior given a Christian.  Firm rules of signage, speed, courtesy, and safety replaced with vague "just love one another out there!" or "Be kind to one another."
While I cannot suggest we adopt a long refrigerator list of do's and don'ts in Christian life (although many groups spend more time telling you what you can't do as a Christian than what you should do as a Christian) I do feel that some clear, basic, Bible based and theologically sound behaviors would not be amiss.
Maybe we should spend less time arguing the apologetics of doctrinal points and more time seeing the lessons Christ lived as a mortal human being.  His example of mission as he talked and listened to the social outcasts to share God's love.  His example of interpersonal relationships when he responded to his mother's request for help at a wedding and his equal treatment of people.  His righteous anger at death as he brought Lazarus back to life and drove those from the temple who were turning it into a marketplace.  His teachings about 'where the rubber meets the road': bullies demand your coat?  give even the extra one away; love is not just talk but it gets its hands dirty and gets involved like the Samaritan on the road.
I am currently exploring this very topic...what are the specific behaviors God expects of those who call themselves "Christian'?   I have found few works that communicate this in a clear and balanced manner suitable for the non-theologian.   Can we provide a tool for the new believer that is less vague and allows the child like understanding to develop into a mature and deep faith in a guided manner?  Do we have to toss people into the deep end of the theological pool in order to convey what it means - in actions, thinking, and feeling - to be a Christ follower?  
Maybe, if we can do that, there will be a lot less confusion, inactivity, decline of churches, and less than noble actions in congregations.  Maybe then, the 'church' - that corporate group of all believers everywhere - can be more focused on their mission of sharing the good news, making disciples and making a difference in the world.


Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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