2011 Challenge to “the church”
We suffer from a lot as the church. From affluenza (consumerism & materialism governing our lives and defining a person’s worth based upon what they can do/get/own); addiction to culture, celebrity, prosperity and a warped idea that bigger is better, and that God works efficiently and is more concerned with ROI than He is with trusting Him, following, loving and obedience. We think God has to pass our rule of pragmatism, reason and rationale. We are an institution, organized as corporations, defined by events that one attends, versus being a people on a journey. This is tied into our affluenze where we treat God as a commodity… what can God do for you, as you live life for you, and mediate a contract with God to do something for me/us… we add Jesus on, living our culturally defined idea of success and life – never once considering that God might actually want us to sacrifice our lives of reason, success and comfort and security (two idol gods we worship along with consumerism and materialism). We think anyone who acts outside of our cultural mandates of success to be crazy.
All of this is scary and no surprise we are anemic as God’s people in having any impact in our society – from lack of conversions, lack of discipleship that transforms life, lack of true piety amongst His people, lack of any more health in any cultural statistic than the rest of society, behaviors that reflect the same lack of ethic as the rest of the corporate world.
Are we really surprised the world doesn’t respect or hear what words come from us?
The challenge for 2011, as politics become ever more polarized, that we become God’s people, not an organization or political force; that we actually act, think, feel, proact and react like Jesus, not like Fox News; that we sacrifice and give ourselves away rather than defend “our rights” …. anyone notice our ‘merican rights over ride our ethos and value of being Jesus’ people… Phil 2.5ff is a good start for what our character should be like.
A challenge is that we actually stop consuming “some God” each week to make life work and sustain control, comfort and safety and we lay all of our lives on the alter and consider He might actually want us to live counter (not anti) to the culture.
A challenge that we love the world and stop judging it… let’s just humbly love and let the Spirit do the judging. Let us speak truth with grace, humility (because we don’t have a lot to be arrogant about lately) and in the context of trusted relationships.
May be know and be known before we presume to have something to say on any subject that winds people up.