Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Jesus.  There's just something about that name. He does something to us....marvelously so.

As many of you, I have experienced pivotal points in my walk with him.  But I doubt I have yet to encounter the deep end of the faith/doctrine pool.  So far, at age 63, I remain in the wading pool where I am still able to breathe safely and still talk the talk while I'm all wet. 

There is this consistent feeling within the church in general that the conservatives need to loosen up and be a bit more liberal.  In the meantime the liberals, it is thought, should tighten up and become a wiser bit more conservative.  I believe both are mistaken.

God's Truth truly is the answer and it will unravel both us Libs and us Conservs.  When Jesus strikes the heart of the church, wonderful and productive ruination (as in Isaiah 6:1-6) pulverizes our once-proud stances and images.  At this point Jesus finally has a role in building his true church instead of man building a religious organization....which is really man's concepts brushed with strong religious overtones.

What Jesus does to the Church of Christ is twist our arms up behind our backs until we say Uncle.  He will not let up.  Haven't you read the Gospels?  Not one self-assumed and proud-of-his-stance leader of a religious group escaped the pulverizing slaying of Jesus' stinging rebuke.  Jesus' might was in his words and he used them to break down one barrier after another that would keep any from knowing God.

He is still at work today.  The Ls (libs) can abuse the Cs while the Cs condemn the Ls.  If Jesus isn't our focus, blindness is our dis-ease.  Our chatter is never-ending.  Until we run into Jesus instead of our sub-doctrines, we have not yet reached the deep end of the faith/doctrine pool.  But....we keep wading....and talking....without realizing we are all wet.

What Jesus does to the Church of Christ is move us from our image to his.  At this point the rocks of criticism are released from our tense hands.  Anger, as well as suspicion, subsides.  Our heads become bowed.  Our minds finally open to His call for Divine relationship.  Fear breaks down as compassion and love build.  And then we become servants to honor the Father in great gratitude. 

That's what Jesus does to the church.


Anonymous said...

God will tolerate a lot of bad behavior and he does so on a regular basis from everyone. But the place where God's wrath has consistently appeared is where people
(a) prevent others from coming to God (think Pharoah); or
(b) set themselves up as mediators between others and God (Pharisees); or
(c) draw people away from God through false idols.

Those things will put you squarely in the path of God's wrath. He'll tolerate many other things. He'll tolerate Kings who murder and have affairs. He'll tolerate prostitutes. He'll tolerate all of the sins. But set yourself up as mediator between man and God and you're wandering into the most dangerous of all territory, where judgment is just around the corner.

It's worth reviewing the stories of the Bible, starting God's wrath against the serpent, with what God demanded of Pharoah through Moses, and with why God was so angry with Moses for striking the rock twice, and moving through the NT stories of the Pharisees who had become self-appointed mediators.

God definitely opposes the proud, but God's anger and wrath has a very specific purpose. God's wrath accomplishes something; it's not in vain. Sometimes people fail to understand because they're not looking for the heart of God toward all people. They're looking for a rule in the Bible, instead of looking for God in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that the heart of God is to be in relationship with his creation. That's everything. Jesus proved it. We teach it.

Those who stand in the way of people entering into relationship with God, or who hinder that relationship--regardless of their excuse--find themselves in direct conflict with God.

It's not which sins of mine are worse than which sins of yours. It goes much deeper than that sort of petty finger-pointing exercise. It goes to the heart of God, and that requires Spiritual understanding. Without God's Holy Spirit in our life, there is no relationship.

Greg England said...

I cut / pasted this and sent it to a very close friend of mine who is an elder at the church where I last preached. It will encourage his heart. I know, because it encouraged mine.

j said...

"The Ls (libs) can abuse the Cs while the Cs condemn the Ls."

Isn't that hate or close to it?
God is capable of judging everyone and doesn't need our help.

Brian said...

Our church administrator came into my office this morning with a heavy heart. In tears. disappointment. Sadness. She asked, "can we pray?" I said, "yes, do you want me or you to pray?" She said, "I want to."

It was a profound prayer of asking God to take charge of the church and that we seek the heart of Jesus and live as He would. She prayed from her heart, with full vulnerability and a desire for us to get past ourselves and allow Jesus to be the center attraction.

To me, what Jesus does to the Church of Christ is to be her unwavering, tireless, and merciful savior who has a limitless supply of grace and forgiveness to both who call themselves Libs or Conservs.

Jesus isn't interested in either names, but He is interested in shaping us and preparing us for eternity!

Just my two-cents worth.