>Buried deep in the hot & heavy give and take of this weekend’s conversation – in the fallout of the Friday followup was something that I really believe and don’t want to be lost as comment #10 in a 20 deep running tally.
I have modified it slightly so that it doesn’t read like an answer but like an idea.
There is a moment when we jump from being two-dimensional drawings in the pages of a novel and we become the real-life Heroes of the Kingdom who live and move and have our being in the Prince of Peace!! This is where we walk in the land of the living and move out of the land of the dreaming (sin) and move beyond the realm of talking (doctrine). Now we act!
The jump happens because of a simple realization: we are not the world. We are in the world but our power is not from the world. IN FACT – we are the world’s only chance to realize that it is the world!
The people of God being the Church is not the kingdom but is suppose to be a “coming attractions” of what it will be like when God is in charge of all of our lives. The people of God being the Church is the only chance that the world has to see that it is the world… and repent.
The problem is that we are JUST like the world. We make the mistake of saying that we are “Not of this world” thinking that it means ‘meant for another world‘ (which is not the Biblical word or idea) and this mistake then leads to us living exactly like the world while we wait to go the next world.
This is why our credit cards are at the same levels of debt, our divorce rates are the same, we shop for Christmas presents the same, we vote in roughly the same proportions, we own the same number of cars, our teenagers get pregnant at the same rate, … you name it. Those inside and outside the church are nearly indistinguishable by almost any statistical measure – amounts spent on makeup, clothes, or movies. (not that I want to judge anyone of any of those in particular) You get my point.
It is not enough to say “I am just like you – only I believe in Jesus … and so I will go to heaven after I die.”
But when it comes to violence… we are the same too. And this is a travesty! Because Jesus did not participate in the ordinary human violence of his day during the Pax Romana. We have an opportunity to stand up for the right thing in the right way and to show the world that it is the world ! SO THAT it may see it’s reflection in our mirror (as we reflect Christ) and recognize what it is NOT and come to terms with what it IS.
Our truth is the world’s only chance to escape it’s lie -the world is deceived and it lives in a lie.
But when the church is too much like the world then the world does not see and the church has nothing to say.
It’s time to move from the two-dimensional characters on a page and walk into our 3-D destiny. This is how the Kingdom comes – one life at time making one decision at a time. The kingdom comes where God’s will is done.
November 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm
>I posted a comment just now on your previous entry. I brought up how every act of violence has its roots in an earlier act, and our goal is end the circle of violence, not perpetuate it or simply shift it to someone else at a different time and place. I really hope you read it. Also: Are you cashing in on the 3D movie craze? Laaaame. ;)I actually had to present a persuasive speech yesterday on the evils of rampant consumerism. I have a really interesting statistic for you: In the US, productivity and production has doubled since 1948, but lifestyles have also exploded in size as well. More cars, larger houses, more high end consumer electronics, etc. The "American Dream," one of comfort and not having to worry about making ends meet (a nice house in the suburbs, a car in every driveway, a chicken in every pot, etc) has been replaced by a new American Dream. Instead of comfort, people seek luxury, and are going into debt at alarming rates to try and live a lifestyle they simply can't (and shouldn't) afford. Here's the thing: since productivity has doubled since 1948, then theoretically we could revert to the 1948 standard of living (still extremely high by international standards) and maintain the same productivity levels, we could all work 20 hours a week. Or work 40 hours a week every other month, and take months off in between. Or you could work 40 hrs a week for a year, then take an entire year off with no negative impact on your lifestyle. Doing this would end unemployment and poverty almost overnight. But there's a catch: for that to work, we have to convince everyone to abandon this New American Dream at the same time or it won't work.
November 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm
>Sam – I am SO glad that you brought this up. It is such an important issue.I have been toying with the idea of doing a pod on 'Consumerism as our real religion'. I think that Capitalism and it's mutant offspring 'Consumerism' is actually America's religion. Mall as Cathedral and all of that good stuff…a really good 101 book is "The Suburban Christian" by Hsu http://www.amazon.com/Suburban-Christian-Finding-Spiritual-Vitality/dp/083083334X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290626523&sr=8-1I am perplexed, amazed, furious, humbled, astounded, convicted, shocked and baffled by this topic. Thanx again for the great contributions!
November 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm
>You should check out "The Overworked American" by Juliet Schorhttp://www.amazon.com/Overworked-American-Unexpected-Decline-Leisure/dp/046505434Xthey have a preview, you can read the first chapter or so. Really fascinating stuff! Another one to check out (if you can find it) is an article called "Serving God and Mammon?" about how consumerism is contrary to EVERY religious and philosophical teaching of the last 10,000 years. I'll have to look up the author and source for you, I think you'd appreciate it.I'm reading another book I think you'd find interesting called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. He wrote it (In Czech) as a response to different beliefs about the benefits of trying to eliminate burdens in life, that we reach our fullest potential when we are no longer encumbered by our values and obligations, etc. He wrote his opposing theory as a fiction novel, but the premise is that life on its own is light as a feather and has no substance, a stiff breeze could blow it away (Hence the term Unbearable Lightness of Being) and that our burdens and our obligations and our values are what actually keep us connected to the world around us. We don't meet our true potential unless we carry burdens. Really awesome stuff. I'm curious what you'd think about it.