Friday, September 26, 2003
Got this in my inbox this morning (Daily Dig from Bruderhof):
- A Matter of Life and Death
The church of today lives in an ethically debilitating climate. Where did we go wrong? Was it the urbane self-centeredness of Peale's "Power of Positive Thinking" and its therapeutic successors? Was it the liberal, civic-club mentality of the heirs to the Social Gospel? Now we waver between evangelical TV triumphalism with its Madison Avenue values or live-and-let-live pluralism which urges open-mindedness as the supreme virtue. And so a recent series of radio sermons on "The Protestant Hour" urged us to "Be Good to Yourself." This was followed by an even more innocuous series on "Christianity as Conflict Management." Whatever the gospel means, we tell ourselves, it could not mean death. Love, divine or human, could never exact something so costly. After all, our culture is at least vestigially Christian. Isn't that enough?
God is mercifully patient with us (2 Peter 8-10, where Pastor Mike read last night; Romans 2:4), giving us plenty of time to turn this thing around and repent. But we're the blind leading the blind, and too many of us are falling into the pit (Matt 15:14). Darkness was allowed to stay - light didn't shine somewhere along the line, and we got used to the shadows.Would someone turn on the lights? Would someone be bold enough to play by the rules, to learn from the Master how to really live in the kingdom? There's no room for wishy-washy Christians any more. If it's going to be real, then we'll have to be real.
Practically, what does this mean? We need to BE more, not just DO more, or TRY more. Instead of thinking "I need to pray more" - just pray more. Instead of thinking "I need to study my Bible" - just do it. Instead of asking "why am I not sharing Jesus with folks?" - just talk Him up. For me, living it out is a whole lot more fruitful than thinking about it or having guilt over a lack of it. I want to BE a person who does those things - not someone trying to live up to a standard, but who's living life through the standard...
I'm through preaching now :)