What if I told you…
That I walked into church this morning and felt suddenly angry at how cold the church has become. As I compared what we call church compared to the church in Acts, I felt this anger rise up inside of me and I declared “We can do better then this! We have turned God’s house into a market place for selling our multi-level marketing products, we have turned it into a fashion show, we have turned into something, anything but a place of prayer and worship to the one true God.”
Many people would probably tell me that a true Christian would never raise their voice but would rather submit calmly and lovingly to the church.
Jesus wasn’t calm and he sure didn’t seem loving when he defended the temple (God’s house) in the Bible.
John 2:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
What if I told you…
That a year ago I wrote songs declaring that I am the king of the world, but now I’ve had a change of heart and am writing songs declaring ‘Jesus is King!’
“False prophet.” Many would declare. “There’s no way someone can change like that, there’s definitely a catch somewhere!”
The Apostle Paul did. He went from killing Christians to becoming one and he ended up writing a large portion of the Bible.
What if I told you…
That today someone tried to get me to engage in gossiping, it was minor gossip, nothing to vicious. Yet I saw clearly the web of lies that the devil was trying to spin, I saw the relationships that he wanted to destroy, so I turned to the gossiper and said, “I will not fall for your tricks satan!”
“A true Christian would never be so unloving!” The critics yell. “Jesus treated everyone so well! Even the woman caught in adultery!”
His response to Peter in Matthew 16:23 would definitely discredit his Christianity in today’s church:
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
I have not yet mentioned how he responded to the Pharisees…
13-14 You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in.[b]
I’m fairly certain that in today’s circles Jesus would be told “Judge not!” Or “Nobody’s perfect!”
The truth is I have no plans on doing any of the above mentioned things, (also they are simply illustrations and not my actual thoughts or actions, just to be clear.)🙃 and I am well aware that we cannot see the hearts of men as Jesus could but still… we are called to live like him:
1 John 2:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
I am also aware that a deeper study could probably be done on these verses an I could probably be told that I used them out of context.
None of that is really the point though…
The point is:
If we study the life of Jesus, he didn’t live a passive life, he was loving, yes, but he wasn’t passive. He wasn’t a pushover.
The church today wants to be comfortable, we don’t want the confrontation, the ugly or the messy. We want nice, and comfortable with good coffee. (No worries, I love coffee.) 😎 We want to be placated, we want to told we’re doing well without repenting, without dying to self.
And I wonder: if Jesus walked into our church and started casting out demons, prophesying and healing the sick, would we recognize him or would we proclaim him to be too radical? Would we proclaim that what he is doing is the devils work?
Because when evil and good collide it isn’t peaceful. It isn’t pretty. It is a spiritual battle that often manifests into our physical world.
I believe that God wants to turn his church back into an ‘Acts kind of church’ and I believe that most of the opposition to this move is coming not from the world but from the people inside the church who want to be comfortable.
Because to the lost Jesus offers hope, peace and freedom in ways they have never before experienced.
To the church he is a threat to our systems, our beliefs and our perfect facades that hide our brokenness.
I love our church guys, and I know there’s many good churches out there. I am not church bashing here. I am simply saying that we have drifted far from the passion that the early church carried and I believe that God wants to bring it back.
Will we stand in his way, or are we willing to let go of our ideas, our rules and our systems and fully, completely surrender to what he wants to do?