Monday, April 18, 2011

Reflection for the Week

Christians all too often become inoculated against the real. Plagued by inauthentic churches peddling illusions, and the covert deception of unreal images that manifest themselves in misplaced expectations and extravagant regimes, believers are facing serious impoverishment and succumbing to bogus spirituality. Instead of having the power of the real, the testimony to truth, and a life of authenticity, we unfortunately seem to have little to offer a world gone mad. Our plight, at times, seems overwhelming, yet God continues to shape and form a people to proclaim the good news and its credibility, and longs for us to leave the rest behind and to join in the drama of his creative and redemptive intentionality, which is as real as it gets.


Angela said...

Greg, can you give some specific
examples you are thinking of
when you refer to "serious
impoverishment" and "bogus

It can become very perplexing what
the church actually should be in
our day, and what it actually means
to live Christianly in the 21st
century. Mixed interpretations muddle the tension between grace and judgment on many issues.

My thoughts are that we should pay
homage to the living God in every-
thing we do, trust in his power to
bring wholeness to the brokenness
even if we don't see it all at
once, allow his love to work through
us. But every church seems to add to this a certain culture, and
certain style of presenting this
gospel. Does the gospel get lost
in all this? I guess there is
no formula and there are endless
ways and styles to serve God, so
there is incredible beauty here.
Hopefully a beauty like that seen
in the Thessalonians...when Paul
said "the Lord's message rang out from you...your faith in God has become known everywhere."
(I thes. 1:8)

carter said...

Greg: I taught John 6 Sunday morning, and the lesson to me was that I want Jesus to be MY God, and by that, I want him to do the magic tricks of filling my belly and killing my Romans. My temptation is to make Jesus into my own image. Living in the United States, I see a church that has become more comfortable with affluence and political influence than with justice and mercy and walking humbly. We are busily building walls to keep people out. I fear that I take God's name in vain by making him less than he is.

Greg said...

Thanks for these helpful thoughts. I was thinking of things like the health and wealth type of theology, or various forms of legalism.

There should be a wonderful diversity, and as you point out, it is important to keep the gospel central in all these ways.

Greg said...

Good observations, woeful consequences. Bringing others into the truth and love of God through Christ is essential, as is keeping God's name holy.

carter said...

I fear that I take God's name in vain by the way that I live: I want God to answer my questions; to respond to my demands, and when he does not, then I get angry with him because he is not at my call. I am such a wayward child. God, please forgive me.

Greg said...

God indeed loves you and you're quite right, He is not a vending machine or One to be blackmailed.
Rest in His grace and forgiveness.