Tuesday, August 8, 2017

No Cross Required

Yesterday, I said that it will not be long before the way that we are perverting the Word of God will lead us to look into the eyes of Jesus and see ourselves and to look in the mirror and see gods. Scarily, too many churches are already there.

They're already there because many of today's churches are more concerned with making sure you see yourself as a "Christian" than making sure you see Christ as Savior, as though the two ideas could possibly be separated.

It's not that today's church doesn't want you to know Jesus; perhaps they do. Perhaps they very honestly do. But in a world that has become hostile to the message of Christ and in a world that mocks something so antiquated as "faith," today's church is hesitant to bother you with all of that Jesus stuff.

What they can tell you, however, is how much better your life as a Christian will be.

Your life as a Christian will be one of forgiveness; nothing you do will be eternally held against you. Your life as a Christian will be one of community; inside these walls, you've got a place to belong. You've got a people who are your people. Your life as a Christian will be one of peace; with the promise of heaven hanging over your heart, what have you to fear?

All these things and more, and they sound pretty good. They even sound Jesus-like, as though this is the very kind of thing that Jesus Himself said you would have. And it is.

The difference is that Jesus didn't leave out the Cross.

He didn't leave out the teaching that more will be required of you. He didn't leave out the proclamation that He is the Son of God. He didn't leave out the blood and the sweat and the tears. What Jesus preaches, what He promises, is not just the roses; our Christ did not leave out the thorns. No, He wore them, pressed into His own flesh, mocked Himself as the "so-called King." He didn't leave out Calvary, and He didn't leave out the grave.

He didn't leave it out, not because it wasn't inconvenient - it was just as inconvenient then as it is now - but because it was necessary. If we could have had the church without the Christ, He never would have bothered coming. But the fact of the matter is, we simply cannot be Christians unless He is the Christ.

And that's what today's church seems to have forgotten.

That's what we're dancing around. Because it seems weird. Because it seems backward. Because it doesn't fit into the modern culture's individualistic narrative. Because it runs counter to secular wisdom. Because....because, well, we just don't want to bother persons with all that Jesus stuff. We don't want to be "that" kind of church.

Sorry, but that's the only kind of church there is. If all you're preaching to your people is membership, you're not a church; you're a social club. Plain and simple.

And that's where we're at. We're living in a world where there's a social club on every corner, where presidents - not pastors - stand on the stage and sell you this story where you, too, can be a "Christian." No Cross required.

And we wonder how we got here.... We wonder why the church isn't thriving the way she once did... We wonder why the world laughs at us, why they turn their backs. It's not because we have too much of Jesus; it's because we don't have enough.

It's because we started opening our Bibles in the hopes of finding ourselves and we pushed aside any notion that in those pages is the story of God

1 comment:

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