Hello again, and yes I have decided this topic is worthy of more space here.
My Pastor returning after a sabbatical yesterday preached a message of transformation… maybe even radical transformation. The funny, or not so funny part of this is, what he preached really wasn’t radical, at least I don’t think it was radical for those who read the bible and believe it to be true and———– want to follow it’s teaching. He spoke about separating ourselves from a mindset that we have adopted, one that I alluded to in part one of this post.
I think that we want it both ways, we want to be radically……..comfortable. You know a good job, a nice home, money in the bank, perfect children, loved and respected by our community and the picture perfect solution to every trial that pokes it’s ugly head at us. Of course we can go to the other extreme where we have no home, no family, no material possessions, no job, and we stand on a hillside clothed in sackcloth, preaching of the soon coming return of Jesus.
The answer I think lay somewhere between the two extremes and the answer is different for every single person. Unfortunately Christianity has become something different, and we, the so-called church are at the forefront of it’s perceived failures. Besides the obvious hypocrisy the world around us sees on a daily basis there are fundamental issues with the way our faith is portrayed. For one thing our continued desire to walk in individual freedom, (read, with little or no accountability) moving further and further away from a relationship based society, continues to erode our own natures. For another, our senses are bombarded daily in this hyper-materialistic world to the point where the line between need and want has pretty much disappeared.
Nothing is so simplistic I realize, and I certainly do not want to sit here and hypothesize on all the negative aspects of where we have failed as a Church. What I do want to do is openly discuss how when I speak of these things, it isn’t with an accusatory finger, but rather with a heart that says I am broken and the people I know around me are broken and a willingness to work together in our mutual broken-ness toward a healthy reliance on Christ to mend and heal and build a body of believers who in Jesus’ words will be made perfect in our weakness.
This body I envision does not walk around condemning or pointing fingers of judgement but rather is willing to invoke self-discipline and a righteous accountability that desires to help and not hinder , one that looks for the good in others and is quick to examine it’s own faults and shortcomings, but slow to accuse others.
Is this a utopian view? Perhaps, is it likely that we will see this exhibited in its fullness, probably not the way we perceive it. Is it a worthy endeavor to travel this path, learning balance, appreciating diversity, and embracing a love that put’s the greater good above our own…. Absolutely!