*** What’s Your Perception? ***

“Perception is a more or less clear understanding of something” the dictionary tells us. This is already not a very clear definition… But if we add to this that our perception goes through the filters of our culture and our feelings, you realize that the perception we have of something can be very far from its reality.
Recently, I received some news from Japan. I was so happy about this news, that I considered excellent according to my perception, that I sent it to an American friend. And this friend answered me: “Eric, are you so egotistical that you would send me such news?” Ouch! For him, this news was really bad news. Surprising, isn’t it?
That made me think about two famous animals that we love in France: frogs and roosters. Do you know the sounds of these animals? I am not sure! So, try to imitate them…
Did you know that a frog says “Croa” in France but that it says “Ribit” in the United States? And that a rooster says “Cocorico” in France and “Cockadoodledoo” in the United States? Who is right in your opinion? Do you think that it’s the French because we eat frogs and the rooster is our national emblem? Oh, no! The French and the Americans are both right!
You are going to say to me: “Eric, why are you telling us all this?” To explain to you that it isn’t easy to work with partners who have another perception and who hear something different from what you are telling them. I thought that I had said “Croa” but they heard “Ribit”. All this is to say to you: Pray for me because there are some days when communication is really very complicated, and I am afraid of losing precious partners over a simple question of perception. Really! Anyway, I hope that you have truly understood me. :-)

Eric Célérier

*** Are you relevant? ***

We live in a very different culture from the one the Apostle Paul lived in. His culture was essentially religious. However, he had understood a very great principle: it was to become all things to everyone in order to win some of them. I do everything for the cause of the Gospel, he said! (1 Cor. 9) Besides, he wrote his epistles in the New Testament in Koiné Greek (popular Greek) and not in Hebrew (the language of the Law) … do you wonder why …

We live in a visual and artistic culture made up of music and dances in which the image is extremely important. How do we approach our culture with the Gospel? Are we relevant?

Several years ago, I went to Hungary in the context of my role with CIJEM (a youth movement that I like a lot). That weekend, as if by chance, the “Faith Church” was inaugurating their new facility. So, I asked the young person accompanying us to take us to their dedication service. Imagine three “big” French pastors in a 1970′s Traban. It was a very old, tiny car, and it had no shock absorbers. We arrived at their brand new facility and believe me, I was shocked! The entrance hall could hold 500 persons seated and the main hall, more than 10,000. And it was packed! Perhaps this isn’t your style of church, but that’s not the question! The question is: How could a church experience such growth in so difficult a context as post-communist Hungary? And, it is this same church that offers us the following video clip where we see 1,300 youth dancing in the streets of Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube. They dance to openly testify to their faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ as the answer for their country.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dSIL358NM]

And you, what do you do to be relevant in your culture and bring it the Gospel message? What do you do to become all things to everyone in order to win some of them?

As for me, I try to understand where the Internet is going and how to reach the greatest number on the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. With the evolution of social networks like Facebook and its famous question “do you want to be my friend?”, I think that we have an incredible opportunity to introduce the one who wants to be their friend, Jesus! But we need to reflect, to understand this culture, and then to act in consequence. Of course, not intentionally, this will always evoke reactions from religious people who think that their church culture is sacred. I think that the Gospel is sacred, not culture. And you, what do you think?