What kind of heretical statement is that, my “brothers and sisters” might ask? I’ll admit, this post came with great struggle, like the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” Should I reduce the potential for rage by entitling my entry “Deconstructing the Anti-Christ”? If so, do I risk attracting the premature support of the very group that I need to challenge?
I must admit, that many times when I try to cue up this blog on Facebook, I simply get one liner replys from Christians who seldom read beyond the safe quotes, the low risk statements that I can afford to offer out of context.
Though my intent is never more than to cause my readers to stop and think about their profession of faith, I may be more often misunderstood, literally wasting otherwise beneficial political support?
If that is the case, and I therefore stop writing, have I not become a part of the problem?
You see, my beef is not with the Son of God or the children of Hell, but with what the “sons of God” have done with His name, and yes within a nation once known as a bastion of Christianity, or minimally Deist! A nation once opened to “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.” This was a nation of refuge, offering freedom of speech and worship, at least among those whose hearts were not yet tainted by greed and power. We were even moved at times when that spirit was captured in Rockwell’s paintings!
Where now is that America? Sure we are more pluralistic than ever, and that is reasonable, given the huddled masses we once welcomed. However, is there no longer a place in the hearts of Christians for the love of God to all mankind? Have we Americans lost our capacity to “love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with their (our) God.” Can Christianity no longer accommodate its own scriptures?
In reformation movements past, the institutional church has often been accused of accommodating the spirit of anti-christ? Are we there again? If so, is the “Jesus” of the American churches, now so soiled by success, bigotry and blind capitalism, that it need be dismantled, so that the truth of the Name Above all Names may once more be made manifest to the world?
It seems that rather than caring, or sharing the love of Christ through the abundance passed down to us, we have chosen to use Kingdom resources to simply push a name, now more hollow than hallowed, for the sake of our belief system alone. The name we now vainly lift up, our traditions may have long ago tamed?
Fellow evangelicals now seem more eager to war and win than to lose and love; while charismatic’s simply settle for entertainment, singing happy songs in their sanctuaries, with an occiasional outreach to the poor! All this done with a blind fervor and disunity that is the antithesis of His true character. He is neither tame, nor zealot; never childlike though He loves children. Unintelligent? Never, yet He often speaks through fools, confounding the oftentimes arrogant and religious scholar.
He was the Spirit of God become flesh, at a time when spirituality had become so fleshly, so infected by man’s religion, that even the very laws of God, housed in the well designed temples of God, veiled the very One who most loved us. Are we there again?
He was never the author of religion, nor supportive of religious endeavors once they lost the ability to draw men toward intimacy with their Creator. In fact, it was the religious, in defense of their God that ultimately assured His death.
Of course, He was never political! Yet, He spoke in such a convincing way that not even Pilate could find fault in Him. Pilate, choosing at one point to set Him free from the religious of that day, until they turned up their political pressure!
Before the Earth was formed, He would willingly choose death; carefully foreshadowing that death long before Calvary, through the sacrificial lambs of Judaism, demonstrating His love for all people, even His enemies. Likewise, He prefaced His own ressurection through His earthly friend Lazarus; this untameable Lion of Judah, then powerfully escaping the jaws of death, Hell and the grave, guaranteeing a new life to all those whose hearts His love would soon open!
We need not defend His Name, nor even publically define our theology; we need simply to demonstrate Him through the love shed abroad in our hearts by His Spirit. Then, the power of that love and the authority of The Name, lived out in unselfish integrity will more than adequately demonstrate the character of the one we name!
If we fail at demonstrating His love, the only Good News, the Jesus we offer in our sanctuaries or even on our street corners will have little redemptive power and even less place in the generations that follow.
My Rock is Christ and maybe my hard place is the church?