Hi everyone. I know some of you have been wondering where I have been and why I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to. The honest answer is that I believe that God is transitioning me (again) through various experiences and while I am going through this process, I didn’t want to write too much but to just ‘sit back and think’. I do not believe that I am through to the other side yet so my blogs will not be anywhere as frequent as they used to be. But one thing that has been pressed upon me for a few years now is getting out of the Christian bubble. What do I mean by that? Well before I explain, please watch this video

In most of my Christian life, I believe that I lived in this bubble. I went to church on a Sunday, went to Christian conferences and conventions, went to Christian parties, watched Christian TV and films, listened to Christian music and the list goes on (not that any of those are bad of themselves). You get the idea. But I never really engaged with the culture around me. I found it hard to relate to them on certain things. I wasn’t brought up in church so I know how it is ‘out there’ but somehow, I lost touch. I was comfortable in this bubble and my goal was almost to get unbelievers into this bubble also.

I am part of the first generation children to parents who came over from the West Indies. Our British subculture was different than the normal British culture (even though we were born here) and unless you were part of my culture, the average British people could not fully understand and appreciate Lovers Rock music (which I love) because it was distinctly British but also linked into our reggae heritage. I am also part of the hip-hop culture in the 80s. We were a sub culture with a make up of MCs, DJs, grafitti artists, rappers and break dancers and body poppers (I was into the latter). Likewise, I believe that the Christian bubble has also become a sub culture, but where we (a lot of the time unintentionally) alienate others who do not participate in our bubble and we have no meaningful relationships or understanding of or with the outside world. Sometimes there is a bubble within the bubble with black/white churches.

I am at a place in my Christian life where I love and have a deeper understanding of Christ but if I am honest, can sometimes become bored of the Christian bubble and sometimes feel as if I lost who I really am. I have almost become shaped by what is expected in the bubble more than who I should be in Christ. I see so many things that happen to people in real life, then I see Christians almost ignore it because they are so busy with their praise parties in the church building and all this talk about blessings, breakthrough, divine favour and walking into your destiny etc etc. Yet those who do not step into the building (which are many) are oblivious to us. They are busy going through their own stuff or busy ‘living it up’. There is simply some things that I don’t want to be as a Christian.

I touched on this in one of the things that I learned in 2013 which was that:

People go through some really hard things in life and sometimes, it can be so comfortable to live in the church/Christian bubble without ever really engaging in the culture or the real world with real people who have real problems. I don’t want to be so involved in churchianity that Christ is in the background and is not relevant at all to the man on the street. I want Christ to be seen in me IN ALL of my daily life and that may mean sometimes doing stuff that traditionally ‘church folk’ don’t do. God is interested in the whole man.

Recently, I sat with some old friends for a cup of coffee. We first ‘met’ up on the now defunct United by One Christian website where we discussed many topics on a forum and since then we have always kept connected via social media

UB1 Massive

Going from left to right is Karl Nova (a frustrated artist), myself, George Luke and Dave McQueen (who once described himself as a Christian but now describes himself as an agnostic. See his reasons here in his own words).

Apart from David, the rest of us are Christians. Now this is what we could have done. David could have been our little project to ‘win him back to Christ’ and put another notch on our belt. But we just sat down and not only talked about issues of faith but about life in general and politics. We were also very honest with how we felt about issues in Christianity and asked some difficult questions. In fact, just simply stated, we just talked as friends and our faith journeys never was an issue. It was a very enriching evening where we could just be ourselves and learn from each others experiences which included us learning from Dave. None of us had any ulterior motives.

Now if I am honest, the place where I am is foreign to me and a bit uncomfortable as I am still in transition and I am not sure what the final outcome will look like. But what I do know is that ultimately, I want to be a good witness for Christ, whether that be overt and explicit or covert and implicit. I want to be salt and light to those around me and be a positive influence. I am not the average Christian because I like to ask challenging questions and say things that other Christians are also thinking but for various reasons, do not outwardly express it, sometimes because of fear of a backlash of going against the tide or they are blinded by loyalty.

I have no idea where this transition will ultimately lead me as I am still learning but I am asking for God’s direction on this journey

Let’s see where this goes

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – Theodore Roosevelt

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Comments
  1. mooredn2013 says:

    So good to hear from you again.Thank you for this article. I understand exactly what you are saying here. I too am experiencing similar thoughts. How to best live as witnesses to unbelievers is not being taught by church leaders today. I cherish your willingness to learn about and obey God more & more. So I will be praying for you frequently. I adore your precious attitude. May our Great God continue to build you, (and me), up into ones He can use to save many more people from hell, even in peculiar ways whom our Lord Himself approves, though the church today may not.

    • Alan Higgins says:

      Thanks mooredn2013. I have also had a few people who have told me that they can relate so we are not alone. Thanks for your prayers

  2. Hello Alan,

    I appreciate your thoughts and putting your concerns in writing. Also, thank you for posting the video, that was a very convicting point that it makes. It made me examine the use of my time and how much of it I am giving to only fellowship with other Christians and not so much in witnessing and spreading Jesus Christ’s glorious gospel. I realize how hard that is with people who are already close to me, such as friends and family, and how I neglect bringing it up because I’m afraid I will ruin the relationship – boy, that is selfish of me, I’d rather have a fun friendship with them here on earth than risk losing them here but seeing them in heaven? That is a question I constantly have to revisit.

    Addressing your post; you said: “if I am honest, can sometimes become bored of the Christian bubble and sometimes feel as if I lost who I really am.”

    I would have to agree with you in the sense that I can many times come home and feel convicted over how much nonsense and trivial things I talked with people about — it seems shallow — I find I talked more about temporal things than spiritual things. I fell into that Christian bubble comfort zone and allowed myself to just play along. But, if you are referring to who Christ has formed you to become, being bored with the new you who Christ is perfecting in himself, I would have to disagree. I hope you don’t mean that.

    You also said: “Dave McQueen (who once described himself as a Christian but now describes himself as an agnostic. See his reasons here in his own words)… we could just be ourselves and learn from each others experiences which included us learning from Dave.”

    I am a bit concerned that you may be struggling with your faith if you are learning from your friend Dave. I went and read through a good chunk of the post you linked, and it became very clear your friend would read liberal theologians and probably did not have much exposure to modern or historical apologetics (which makes since because most seminaries do not provide or do not encourage an area of study in apologetics). I have become somewhat of a “one-dollar apologist” myself in the past 6 years studying the teachings of men like Steven Meyer, Greg Koukl, William Lane Craig, Norm Geisler, Frank Turek, Chris Rosebrough, etc. I know exactly how I would address his concerns, because I struggled with those things myself. Many of them come from a poor understanding of hermeneutics (descriptive vs. prescriptive text), and the nature of sin.

    As for your struggle, the details of which you have not shared, but from what you wrote it made me think of the book I am reading right now titled “The Fifth Gospel” by Bobby Conway. You may find it something you would be interested in reading, I recommend it to you.

    In regards to your friend’s struggles, since he seems as though he appreciates deep thinking, I would recommend Reasonable Faith or On Guard by William Lane Craig. I know Dr. Craig addresses the issues that your friend has brought to the table. I would recommend that you read them and talk to your friend about them. Attempting to bring him to Christ, whether it seems as though you would be making him a project, or not, is not really the issue. The issue is, if he died tomorrow, would he be prepared to face God? You can address spiritual things without it seeming as though he is a “project”, simply show your concern about his eternal destination.

    I have to constantly remind myself in my walk with Christ and interactions with others – it’s not about how I feel, or anyone else feels about certain issues; life is not about happiness or comfort, or being comfortable with every aspect of the way God has revealed Himself – it’s about whether we will stand before God with or without Jesus Christ’s righteousness credited to our account. On the day of judgement, if we are not covered with the righteousness of Christ, we will be condemned to hell.

    • Alan Higgins says:

      Justin. Don’t worry. I am in no way bored of Christ. He has indeed made me a new creation. I can never be bored of that. My boredom is more to do with churchianity. And when I said we learnt from Dave, he wasn’t giving us any theological teaching it was just general chit chat. I am in no way struggling with my Christian faith. Hope that clarifies things

      • Alan,

        I am very relieved to hear that. I suspect God is working on you and maturing you. He has certainly been working on me lately. I’ve veered away from online interaction (with the exception of these couple posts) because I’ve been convicted from many experiences that there is some very vital things missing in online interaction that make it very very difficult to present myself as Christlike. Plus, the one-to-one interaction in person cannot be replaced since expressions and reactions play such an important role in our social lives.

        I would still urge you to consider the books I suggested — “The Fifth Gospel” is short but very relevant; the back of the book says this: “There are five gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John…and the Christian. But most people never read the first four. There are lots of books on how to do evangelism. This book is different–it’s an invitation to actually live out the message of the gospel.” If you do happen to pick it up and read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

        Anyhow, I will keep you in my prayers, as well as your friend Dave. Hope you have a blessed week!

  3. Gloria Donaldson says:

    Greetings Alan, in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

    I feel your concerns and frustrations. Surely the Lord is displeased with today’s uneducated, uncommitted, complacent church that hides behind its four walls. If ever there was a time for the Church to draw nigh to God, the time is surely now. If ever there was a time for the church to hit the streets and share the Gospel message and hope to this perishing world, surely the time is now. I am praying for direction to know what our Heavenly Father would have us do. Dear God, grant us a persisting desire and strength to carry out your will and purpose. It saddens me that so-called Church Leaders are too busy integrating with the world and operating as CEOs rather than serving Almighty God as men and women of the cloth; consequently, the Master’s work is going undone. My heart bleeds with grief. It’s no wonder the Muslims and homosexuals have gained such a footing! There are deceivers and wimps amongst us!

    Stay near the cross, my brother. Do not be overcome by discouragement. God has a work for you to do. Don’t venture too deep into the secular world as you may be drawn away from the only wise and true God. There are many, many false teachers in our midst; many very famous ones with large followings. Be alert; be on guard. The devil is very wise – remember he used to be the second in command in Heaven. He knows how to be smooth, charming and on target relative to our weak points. Continue to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and wait patiently (HARD TASK) for His promptings. Your instructions may take a while to reach you – remember what happened with Daniel? But, just wait on the Lord and He will come to you in His own time; in His own way. Watch and listen for Him.

    8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye. Psalm 32:8 King James Version (KJV)

    14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14 King James Version (KJV)

    I will keep you and your pals in my prayers…your family, friends and other love ones as well.

    HOLD ON AND KEEP THE FAITH. THE LORD IS WITH YOU.

    Your sister in Christ Jesus,

    Gloria Donaldson

    WordPower Christian Outreach Ministry

    USA

    P.S. Your posts are awe-inspiring! Stay blessed.

    • Alan Higgins says:

      Gloria, Thanks. I am in no way discouraged in my faith. I love Christ but dislike the bubble. That’s what I’m trying to say

  4. mooredn2013 says:

    Alan, you are a brave soul. When you express your true thoughts and feelings in hopes others will understand and learn along with you, people tend to assume you might just be turning away from God, and going back to the world a little. They see a need to offer you advice, encouragement, scriptures to remind you, etc. That is the nature of humans.

    I know what you mean. I know who you are. I see your genuineness as a follower of Christ. I recognize you are digging way deeper into spiritual things of God than most comment-ers can understand right then. I see your patience and love for others.

    I look forward to your blogs with excitement, because I know I will receive an honest, humble, caring, insightful dialogue to steer people to Jesus Christ, to help me on my spiritual journey to go deeper in love for our God and Savior. This is witnessing. You do it graciously. And I love you.

  5. Johnson, Darrell R CTR USARMY ASC 406 AFSB LRC (US) says:

    CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

    Hello Alan,
    My name is Darrell Johnson. I always enjoy your messages. I also refuse to live in the Christian bubble. Have you ever heard of Dispensationalism? I have been following a brother by the name of Kevin Hobbs of Butnow fellowship, from Florida. Whenever you have time, I would love to get your take on the Pauline Grace believers teachings.

  6. mooredn2013 says:

    DISPENSATIONALISM, The simplist explanation to a very complex subject:
    A system that
    (1) emphasizes the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy,
    (2) recognizes a clear distinction between Israel and the church, and
    (3) organizes the Bible into 7 different dispensations or manners in which God relates to man:
    (Innocence, conscience, human government, promise, law, grace, and the millennial kingdom.)
    Thus, resulting in a premillennial interpretation of Christ’s second coming and usually a pretribulational interpretation of the rapture.

  7. LMatt says:

    I don’t think that making daily sacrifices to strive to live up to God’s standard is a bubble. You clearly are not in a bubble if you have non Christian friends, witness and serve others. We are called to be in the world and not of it.
    We go to work and school, interact with our families and coworkers who may or may not be believers. We are walking testimonies to Christ.
    We dont have to prove that we care about others by participating in sinful behaviors. And yes i do mean looking upon and listening to media that is in clear contrast to God.
    If living your life in sacrifice to my creator is a bubble, i embrace it.

    • Alan Higgins says:

      LMatt, I think you have misinterpreted what I am saying. At no point have I even hinted at doing anything contrary to God’s word. My whole point that we can be so much in the comfortable bubble just involved in Christian ‘stuff’ that we only shine our light where there is a lot of ‘light’ and not in the darkness and I’m not just taking about daily normal interactions like work or school

      • LMatt says:

        I see.

        I would like to share an experience with you. My husband and i are both Christians working for a large secular corporation. Based on shining a light at work, we both have had many occasions
        To witness at work. I have 3 coworkers now coming to our home for a small group study. I only watch Christisn shows, movies, listen to Christian music exclusively, read Christian publications and monitor my conversations as well. I think that would constitute a bubble. But, the people we witness to are drawn to the difference we display.
        I really think the bubble is necessary to our Christian worldview.

  8. McKenzie says:

    I think your perspective is very intriguing as often times I know I have similarly. I think that challenging ourselves to step out of the Christian bubble is often times what grows our faith the most.

  9. emannehblade says:

    I totally understand what you mean about the “Christian bubble.” I go to a Christian University and before that, a Christian dance studio and homeschool co-op. I can definitely relate to feeling like I’ve lost who I am and what I truly believe. I write for a blog that talks about engaging with pop culture and the media through a Christian lens, and something I have been learning is how important it is to find a balance between stepping outside of our comfort zone and not letting the world change our beliefs. Great post! I’d love to read more!

  10. Hi, Thank you for having a great blog. Please come and check me out.

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