Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Perscuted By Pharisees
As I have begun to engage in a dialogue that questions structure and religion because it does not seem to be part of Jesus' mission I have been shocked at the people who have been critically of the missional/emergent/emerging church and (on the other hand) floored at the people who- after being engaged in the structure for some time- are looking around saying, "Wait a minute. This is not what we signed up for."
While reading this morning I came up this quote from Alan Hirsch in his book The Forgotten Ways:
"I believe that hte reason for the strong response in our critics is that they actually [do] 'get the message' about missional church but [do not] like it because, in this case, it called them out of a religion of quiet moments in quiet places (or passive entertainment) and into liminality and engagement." p. 223
Precisely said. It is an upsetting of a very stable, unmoving apple cart that is more interested in maintaining their positions, jobs, and power than teaching and living Jesus. Was it not the Apostle Paul who said, "If any man preaches any other Gospel than Jesus let him be damned,"? Then we should question why so many people both inside and outside the church are clinging feverishly to the hope that their good deeds will outweigh the bad ones- when it is plain both from Scripture and our own expereinces in this life that we cannot.
This being the fundamental difference between Christ followers and all religous structures: we cannot be righteous before a righteous and holy God, therefore we must trust His Way to pay our debt.
As I talked to my wife Sarah I lamented how shocked and saddened I was when seemingly well-meaning Christian came against this message of "follow Jesus" because (and this is seriously a quote from one of them), "[If we tell people to just follow the Bible and Jesus]... it will give them too much freedom." (emphasis mine). Seriously. Too much freedom. Isn't it in John chapter 8 that Jesus says that to believe in the Son is to be set free, truly free.
"The main stimulus for the renewal of Christianity will come from teh bottom and the edge, from the sectors of the Christian wolrd that are on the margins." -Harvey Cox, Religion in the Secular City