Posted by: tucsonjefe | August 5, 2009

A Message With Weight

As I was driving to the store this morning I noticed a group of people on the corner at a very busy intersection.  They were holding signs and screaming at passing cars. Their signs were of the “Jesus is the answer” genre, hand-scrawled on cheap poster board. I couldn’t hear what they were yelling, but I assume it was something about getting saved.  I thank God for their effort, but I had to wonder about their effectiveness. The world we live in has changed radically from street-preacher days. The modern scientific age ushered in an era of rationalism that debunked much of Christian thought. Science and so-called reason led to progressivism in politics and modernism in theology. In the Christian West, the gospel became to a large extent a social program, and Protestantism devolved to debates over textual accuracy and the reality of miracles. Intellect replaced experience, and evangelism became more about believing an historical event than having an encounter with God. Beginning in 1900, the Pentecostal movement began running parallel to the evangelical. The Holy Spirit was poured out, but was generally associated with the ill-educated and socially unacceptable. Every generation since has moved away from the power of the Spirit in an attempt to become genteel. The spiritually neutered Christian church became a postscript in modern culture. It was science that would raise us to a new world order. 

In our Post-modern era, the idea that science can explain all there is, that the entire universe operates with Swiss-watch, Newtonian order, has come into question.  The intellectuals have now added the doctrine of multiculturalism to their catalogue of essential ideas. To their dismay, much of the world still believes in a supernatural realm. Hence, in order to be properly broad in their thinking, they must acknowledge the possibility of “spirituality.” We now live in a world where it is cool to be spiritual. (See Oprah)  It is just not cool to be Christian. Christianity doesn’t offer a real spirituality. The Protestant and Liturgical world have so neutered themselves that they aggressively deny the supernatural power of God. In the ditch on the other side of the road, much of the Pentecostal, charismatic world has been associated with TV preachers and lunatics and intellectual midgets. The baby of Spirit power has been dispensed with the bathwater of Elmer Gantry production. In an age where spirituality is acknowledged as real, we must step into the fray with something that has weight, breadth, and depth.  We must:

  1. Present a belief system that has intellectual weight.  Quit being afraid to ask questions and seek concrete answers. I must know what I believe and why I believe it.
  2. Hunger after a move of the Holy Spirit in our churches that is powerful and persistent rather than pompous and preposterous.  God comes to Church. We should let Him speak.
  3. Move in the compassion of Christ to touch our communities in ways other than placards and slogans. Doctrine is dead if it doesn’t move us to help people.
  4. Live in such a way that our lives reflect our faith.  My life and my bumper sticker need to be more congruent. People can’t hear the love of God from a mouth that also spews bitterness and hatred.

Scripture Reading:   We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God                           2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG

 

Somebody Said: “It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”  Winston Churchill

There is a world around us looking for a spirituality that smells real.  We have it. Let’s live it.

vls
http://www.fcftucson.org

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