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let’s rebel

June 10, 2008

Sitting in my family’s Luthern-ish church last week for my great-grandma’s funeral was enlightening as usual. I think those of us at exciting churches should visit these kinds of churches once in a while. I’m convinced that the greatest threat to the western church isn’t porn or pot, it’s ourselves.

I sat as one of the co-pastors read a poem or a cute story or something and looked at the small, stained-glass windows. I like stained glass. It’s pretty. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, what a Chinese Christian would think of it. Or a 2nd-century Roman Christian. We’re so blessed with our religious freedoms.

But what do we do with our religious freedoms? Cloister? Offend people?

Her husband shared stories about grandma (which I hope to get to tomorrow), and then the wife co-pastor got up to close the service. “Our Christian faith was made for times like these.”

Yes, she did.

“Our Christian faith was made for times like these.” Times like what? Death? Sorrow? This is what faith is for? Christ shed the glories of heaven, came to earth as a man, overcame every temptation, suffered the most excruciating death known to humankind, visited hell, rose from the dead, and left for heaven after charging His followers with the responsibility of loving the gospel more than their own lives … for this? To help us get over the grief of temporarily losing a loved one? To comfort me? God gives to each a “measure of faith” so we can believe that Jesus is the risen Messiah and feel better at a funeral?

Maybe I’ve been listening to too much of Zahnd’s Not for Sissies series lately, or maybe it has something to do with my reading Watchman Nee and Jesus Freaks and VOM at the same time, but I have to respectfully disagree that this is what our Christian faith was “made” for.

Yes there is comfort, and yes there is hope. Yes, because of my faith and the faith I know my grandma had on earth, I didn’t shed a tear. Yes, my faith made the day easier to get through, but that is not what it’s for.

My Christian faith is for redemption. My redemption, the redemption of my family and friends, the redemption of my neighborhood and my community, and ultimately the redemption of creation.

My Christian faith is for transformation. My transformation, the transformation of my family and friends, the transformation of my neighborhood and my community, and ultimately the transformation of creation. I died in Adam, but by faith I was crucified in Christ and I am only now become what I was meant to be.

My Christian faith is for revolution. A revolution that will love in the midst of hate, give in the midst of greed, and serve in the midst of selfishness. A revolution that will restore the supernatural and the spiritual to the gospel, and exalt the Cross over comfort.

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