Saturday, October 14, 2006

Losing My Life

Many of us structure our lives in ways that cover up how broken we really are. We live another life that is not ours to cover up our brokenness. In essence, we do not want to face our "real selves" because we might not like what we see. We promote how educated we are knowing, underneath, that it does not satisfy. We tell others how wonderful our lives are when inside we know there is some trouble. We exude confidence and pride when that little voice in the back or of head says “They really don’t like you” or “You’re not that great and they will find out.” So we flee to addictions or try to escape ourselves....somehow...someway. The other option is to get bitter and blame someone or something else for our issues. If all else fails we hide never understanding that living in that very brokenness has the power to free us.
We forget the things that Jesus said like

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3 NIV

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39 NIV

We don't really get it. We don't get that God sees the real us. It's the person he's in love with. God loves the broken who cry out to Him knowing that He holds the glue.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Christian Bones

The fact is that Jesus got angry. If, however, you read the gospels closely, he didn't get angry at the same things we get angry at. Our anger is usually directed toward people or things that make our lives difficult or uncomfortable. It seems that it is all about not being uncomfortable but that isn't very spiritual so we call it righteous anger instead. Christians love to judge "sinners" when Jesus never did it in the way we do
(For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17).
I may be wrong, but I cannot find one instance when Jesus was angry at sinners. So who was he angry with? ...Religious people! He was angry with people like me. People who were professional clergy or those who claimed to have it all together spiritually. Jesus was offended at religious behavior that only touched the outside of a person and did not enter into the deep places of the soul. Jesus is and has always been about transformation of human lives in the inside. Jesus is not interested in 'behavior modification' without inward change. He was angry at "pastors" who were satisfied in seeing little real change in the people God entrusted to them.
Jesus said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." Matthew 23:27
Whitewashed tombs look nice and impress people but are still tombs.

Unfortunately, many evangelical churches do just that. We help make sure people look good on the outside (The last thing we need is more hypocrites), while on the inside our people cry out to experience Jesus in the deepest part of their lives. It is sad. It is scary because I wonder if Jesus came to me today...would he be angry?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Let Me Be Blunt

The title says it all. Let me be blunt. It saddens me to see people just playing Christian. It saddens me for a number of reasons. First of all, it means people are not living up to their potential in Christ. It means that Christians who "play church" will become bitter because they never have the chance to experience the real Jesus in their lives. It means that the world has another reason to point the finger and say "See, Christianity doesn't work."

The Scriptures are clear that my job as a pastor is to "prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..." (Ephesians 4:12) or in my vernacular - to help people to stop playing church and be the church. The last thing I want to spend my life doing is to lead a bunch of people who are satisfied gathering to sing some cool songs on Sunday and live status-quo lives the rest of the week.

I want to be used of God to transform ordinary people into radical, and I mean really radical, followers of Jesus. Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe I'm shooting too high. Maybe I'm out of touch...or maybe it's the other way around.


W hen I first came to Christ, one of the basic beliefs that was instilled in me, was the idea that one of the worst things that could happen...