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The Master's Grip: In His Grip

Tired of sub-culture, tired of hypocrisy!!
Monday, February 20, 2006

Okay...rant time...I haven't done much of this, but I am quickly reaching my limits. Understand as I do this that I know that I can and am part of the problem as well as trying to be part of the solution, but here goes!

I attend Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon and this is in no way supposed to be a complete slam on the institutional culture that is present at this school...but as it is in many ways a "stalwart, foundational" institution for the "conservative evangelical" sub-culture I am irritated with many things.

Please, can you tell me where in scripture Christ told his followers they had to look or act a specific way or anything like that at all (I am not talking about morals)??? For myself what I remember is stories like Jesus told in Matthew 21:
28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'

29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.

31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?"
"The first," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

For some reason the God that I serve saw it as worth his time to hang out with those who were considered not to be quite "up to par" with society! Take the following passage for example,
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

So here is my peeve right now...when did we as "evangelicals" (which, praise the Lord I am counting myself less and less one of!) get the handle on all things Christian??!! You have to dress this way, you have to look like this, that is crap!!

When are we going to quit teaching people the next "systematic doctrine" of blah and start teaching people RELATIONSHIP and LIFE?? You know what it is all well and good up to a point to look big and important because you know words like pneumatology or angelology or christology; but who gives a crap if you can define them if your life is no more a witness then the next person you can cram how knowledgeable you are down their throat??

My Lord, my Christ came for this reason:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Also since when is the Christian life all about "Evangelism" I have talked about this before when did "Conversion" become more important then, RELATIONSHIP? When did the concept of Discipleship and Missions become relegated to the world and life of only pastors and missionaries? Since when did we lose track of the idea of living MISSIONALLY?? Not all of us are to be "missionaries" in the old definition of the term but we are all to be missional!

Our Christian life...is just that LIFE... it is not just theology, it is not just doctrine, it is LIVING. When your Christianity becomes relegated to the world of dusty books and papers you are in trouble, get out into your world and LIVE!

I will be honest I am at this point tired and fed-up with all things "conservative and evangelical" I am trying to remember the good, but it is hard amidst all the hypocrisy and crap! I am tired of Christianity! I am not tired of Christ but I am tired of what we have made him into, he is more than an icon, more than ruler to align ourselves with...he is a living, loving, caring, creator GOD!! He didn't come so that we could define him or so that we could understand him systematically, he is undefinable, he is GOD! He is so far and above anything we can understand, comprehend, or define. He is creator, he is perfect love, he is full life!

Also since when are we commanded to glorify the missionary or the pastor...now praise God for those who are called to that position (though I believe there are many who shouldn't be but are) but they are no more important to the kingdom then the man that God has gifted with the ability to make money, to lead a company, or even to fix a car! People, if all he wanted was the pastor type then why in the heck did he build his church on Galilean fishermen??? Get a grip people if you didn't have your wealthy supporters you wouldn't have any missionaries, neither is more important, both are!

Since when did our call "to the nations" exclude the USA??? Forgive me if I say it but the fact remains that the US is the last world power...do you not think that there is HUGE possibility for work here as well as elsewhere??? Get a grip people...a large number of people in the US are fed-up with church, with Christians, with faith, and they translate much of that into being angry at God! They need our love and help as much as that native in Africa! Not our judging, not our setting up of fences and telling people you have to live in our little "christian world" to be saved, no way in hell do I want that anymore and neither do most people!

People, let's stop judging and start loving...let's stop building up our fences and walls of fear and hypocrisy and start tearing them down and reaching out...let's stop living out our Christianity from a position of disconnection and start living from a position of relationship and being relative to our world!

We have lost the place of influence that Christianity once had...and that is no one's fault then ourselves. In our fear we have setup walls from the world and started praying in our little prayer meetings, "Come, Lord Jesus, come..." I have only one thing to say to that

SHUT UP!

Do you really think God is coming back yet?? Start reading then there are still things to be done...and still people to be reached!! Quit hiding and start living! Quit cowering in the face of the enemy and saying, "Okay, you win...now God can come back" and start FIGHTING! Greater is He that is in us...when are we going to start living that way???

Okay...that is enough for now...some steam letoff!!

In His Grip (Powerful, Strong, Almighty...He kicks butt!),

James

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posted by James Dasher @ 7:15 PM,




2 Comments:

At 6:07 PM, Blogger RC said...

Hey, I loved your post...I posted earlier about a documentary (one that had zero to with Christian, God, or Jesus) that taught me tons about living Missionaly.

Also...just the other day the pastor at my church gave a lot of scriptural evidence for the concept of

(a) Loving God should make us like Pilgrims who stand up for what we believe...

but...

(b) Loving people means that we live indigenously w/ our culture...

Some are pilgrims and are ineffective...some are indegenous only and are ineffective...it lies in the balance of being both...

Hum...I think it's great that you're struggling with these questions...sounds like a lot of loving God around you, but not a lot of loving people.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger Praying For Purity In Portland said...

Earthly wisdom dictates that because we Christians are so wonderfully righteous, we should expect everyone to conform to our sense of right and wrong. But the wisdom of the Most High is to be kind to the unthankful and merciful to the wicked. We must have compassion, just as Our Father has compassion. We must operate with an eternal agenda, and realize the delicacy of the souls of those who are lost. Are your actions like light piercing the darkness? Do you ooze grace, where grace is undeserved? Do you honestly sow love for those who hate you? Or are you a predictable caricature, a bigot, a heart-hardener?

What did Christ call us to do? Make disciples of all peoples or boycott Company X for supporting Liberal Value Y?

Are we helping to lead the lost into the flock of our Good Shepherd? Much of what we do in the name of Christ is a disobedient avoidance of His directive to go forth making disciples of all peoples, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Teaching new disciples to obey all the commands of Christ is part of our commission, but this teaching of obedience only applies to those who have given their hearts over to following Him. We cannot expect our hypocrisy forced on others to make them any happier about living under the condemnation of the law. The proper goal of the Christ-follower is to demonstrate that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. The way we confidently live this out can be found in Luke 5:20-49 among other places.

--Praying for Purity prayingforporninportland.blogspot.com

 

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