Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Love that Internet Monk.

From Internet Monk, whose blog I love very much:

“If we believe the Gospel, doesn’t it seem a bit contradictory to….”

1. Adopt a pious and pretty obviously phony kind of overly serious demeanor? As if there were something wrong with smiling and having normal conversation? What is this “we’re acting like the Puritans in The Crucible” routine? No one is getting any points for that kind of act. Quit it.

2. Always point out the sins of your favorite target groups like gays or political liberals or Hollywood? Their sins are no more offensive than yours, and Jesus hasn’t asked you to make sure everyone knows how really offended you are. Plus, it’s not a witness to be offended and angry. It just increases the reputation Christians have as being on emotional egg shells when it comes to someone doing something they think is wrong.

3. Not have your beliefs about church challenged at all? Ever? For any reason? When you put the Gospel all out there on the table, and you consider what it means, how can it not challenge the idea that most of what we are to do is go to church programs or make your pastor into a celebrity? I’m not saying the Gospel deconstructs the church, but if the Gospel hasn’t knocked a few holes in your assumptions about the church, something isn’t tickin’ or kickin’ Check out your Gospel please.

4. Hold on to all of your money and possessions exactly like the non-Christians next door? Money and possessions are a pretty predictable sign of where your real treasure is, according to one well known authority.

5. Not be able to explain the Gospel in any kind of coherent manner, or even to lay out the basics of the Gospel in a talk, lesson, conversation or (God help us) sermon? I don’t get it. Why are we telling people they are saved by “asking Jesus into their heart?” Why are we saying that if we progress towards “goodness,” we will be saved by Christ? How can we be this confused about something this basic? How can we constantly talk to people about morals and behavior, then say we were talking about the Gospel?

6. Be more concerned about the culture war, the environment or politics than about missions in the 10/40 window or resourcing the church in Asia and Africa? After all, they are only Africans. Right? Jesus was an American white guy apparently.

7. Still harbor the idea that most Christians are probably in your denomination, and while they may exist elsewhere, it’s kind of a miracle, because your church is really the only church that God actually uses in a serious way? The church is God’s people seen from God’s perspective. Your camp is part of it, but if you are telling yourself that God sees your church as THE church and other churches as something else, Heaven is going to be a real downer for you.

8. Not really care what’s in the song lyrics you use in worship? Doesn’t it seem odd to sing man-centered songs with almost no mention of the Gospel and not even notice that our affections aren’t being directed toward Christ at all? I like a tune and a fun chorus. I like to see people involved emotionally, but the New Testament has entire hymns explaining the incarnation and none about “the secret place.” I’m just sayin…

9. Be so sure we know exactly how God is applying the Gospel through the Holy Spirit in the lives of other people? Wouldn’t it follow that if God provided everything for our salvation, he isn’t turning over the application of the Gospel to us and our comfort zones, but is applying the Gospel in the world according to a plan that may be just as surprising from our point of view?

10. To not be absolutely staggered with wonder, humility and awe? If you believe it, it’s amazing. If you kinda believe it, you’re a little amazed. If you don’t believe it, you’re bored.

1 comment:

Amy Sowan said...

this is fabulous. love it