Thursday, July 14, 2016


I wish to cheer the entire world on!  Our lands are filled with remarkable and then indescribably remarkable individuals.  Most of whom (if not all of us) are fundamentally oblivious to the dynamic of God embedded within us.  As a result I wonder if even those of a professed faith have engaged in such so repetitiously that the habit of its trek has caused our hearts to grow numb.

Of course a casual Bible student sees this in the constant contest between Jesus and the (church) Pharisees.  Tradition over Movement was the battle cry.  So it is today. Each age ushers one seemingly and eventually into the let's don't upset the apple cart mode.  One more time the church treads lightly as it develops once again for this generation an habitual faith; a belief system that calculates dos and don'ts, got dones and didn'ts over an experience with the living God.

What would you estimate is the reason that our populace is strewn with former church-goers who finally gave out; gave up on us?  My guestimate is that they just didn't find meaningful purposeful life in their congregations.  And why would this be? What would cause the absence of life in these places?  Repetition that became the directive of the congregation rather than risk of faith and launch of hope.

Habitual faith is a killer disease in the church.  It always has been.  Jesus warned us of it.  Yet, we wear its garb of comfort like old pajamas which help us to rest.  We just want things to go well.  That's all.

To all church leaders I would cheer us on to realize that we must perpetuate eyes that see what isn't yet as possibility.  Our marketing power is not who is on staff, our sermon content, our exciting programs, nor our attractive worship style.  Our marketing power is the Cross of Jesus.  And that isn't a pretty sight; so much so that we have groomed a thinking that what will attract our neighbors is a better present-day marketing scheme; anything of other than every member packing a cross.

This shift of emphasis has developed a disastrous legacy of indifference.  The Cross is the key to unlock the stingiest of hearts.  There is no other way.  Education? Activation?  Regulation?  Each of these values are not the code to the community; the church community nor the neighborhood.

Too, the distraction by elevation above the Cross of any of these three is that they can quickly become one's mini-god where engagement in such seems to satisfy the need to be active anywhere except in the territory of touching the lives of the lost around us.   We can have all three of these and still be a selfish, self-centered, self-serving group of habitual believers in what we believe in....which may be nowhere near the power of the Cross. It's just the weirdest thing; but it seems that sometimes we wish to engage in church procedures in order to avoid contact with the individuals in our surroundings.

Habitual faith sucks the life out of its carrier.  Each of us must be aware of this to help one another to develop a living, breathing, engaging, reaching spirit to bring life to our communities by submitting to authentic church life...from the Cross which is anything but habitual.

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