A continuation on my reading of Save Me: An Atheist’s Letter to the Christian Church. I want to start with this quote. “The church has somehow found a way to turn the greatest story ever told into an everyday nuisance. What was once revolutionary is now the status quo. And I cannot for the life of me figure out exactly how the church has accomplished this. Why would anyone substitute the story of the Bible with this tripe? Maybe Christians really aren’t aware of what they have…”
I want to springboard off of this quote. It is convicting to me because I am always evaluating myself. I am constantly asking if I am treating the Gospel message and my responsibility to share it with the conviction and passion that I should. The last question is the key to this position, I believe. Are we aware of what we have? Have we been so far removed from the spiritual conversion experience that we have started to take it for granted? Are we trying to water it down so much so as for it to be acceptable in this culture that we lose the truth of its message? Are we treating the message like the revolutionary and radical Word that it is? Or is he right in some cases? Have we drained the message of its life by altering it to suite this present culture? Have we tried to tame Aslan and for the Narnia folks out there, we know Aslan can not be tamed.
One of the things I struggle with the most is what I see as a sense of complacency in the church. We have an incredible calling on our lives. It cannot take second place to our plans for our lives. I often use the phrase ‘throwing God a bone’ to describe what I think we all sometimes do. We play lip service to our calling. We don’t radically respond and from what I see of the Christians in the Bible, they were radical. They had an intense focus and passion that drove them. I think of Paul and I cannot comprehend how he traveled to all the places he did. He moved and ministered nonstop. He was aware of what he had and that it was the answer to a broken world. We all need to think in this manner regardless of your profession, you are a follower and minister first. We must begin to really think missionally.
Adler states, “Today the church has replaced Jesus’ call to radical change with a call to moderation.” We have all heard the phrase, ‘everything in moderation’ but can this apply to our calling? The answer is no. Has anyone ever said that you take your religion too far? Sometimes people try to make you feel like you are being too much of a Jesus freak. They may imply that you should tone it down a bit. Is this how we are to treat the hope for mankind? Disciples gave their life for it. They were killed for it. I think it is time for me and you to rethink the mission and the cost.
A closing thought from Adler, “So why don’t we see the radical Christianity Jesus called for? My guess is that Christians are immune to it. A flu shot is just a weakened form of a virus. And moderate Christianity is simply a weakened form of the real thing. The church has built up a resistance to the Christianity of the Bible.” This is my prayer and I mean it. I pray that I never build up a resistance to the call of God in my life regardless of what the demands on me may be. Church, let’s prove this writer wrong……