Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Making Distinctions

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

divided highwayAs a people we seem obsessed with dividing people, questions or problems into clearly defined groups. We like to draw lines. Among the lines we draw between people include male and female, conservative and liberal, young and old, Democrat and Republican, black and white, rich and poor, King James and The Message, and so on. We make distinctions about people because we find it a useful (if erroneous) way to comprehend who a person is — what they think, what they believe, or what their role in life should be.

As Jesus followers we need to remember that, “In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female.” And by extension of the principle, no division into conservative and liberal, young and old, Democrat and Republican, black and white, or rich and poor. Our common relationship with Jesus Christ involves the laying down of such cultural, political and biological identities and presumption.

What are the implications of making such distinctions?
What are the consequences of not making such distinctions?
What kind of questions does this raise for you?

A Life Radically Transformed

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Simple observation confirmed by numerous studies have found that how American Christians live and their basic beliefs about life are no different than those of the non-Christians.

The Barna Group has established this reality over the years with findings like:

  • When defining success, most adults, Christian and non-Christian, focused on personal accomplishments, family solidarity and emotional fulfillment. Only 7% grasp the biblical message that success is not about personal accomplishment or material possessions.
  • Almost everyone in the U.S. believes that truth exists. However, a large majority of adults, Christian and non-Christian, contends that there is no absolute moral truth. More than two out of three adults argue that truth is always relative to the individual and the circumstances.
  • The divorce rate among Christians is no different than that of non-Christians.
  • Breaking the speed limit was an action deemed morally acceptable by two-fifths of all adults. That proportion was rather stable across a wide range of subgroups, including “born again” Christians.

Somewhere in the past 2,000 years, Jesus message and teaching on the genuine Christian walk and calling has disappeared for the most part. Sure, we grew up with a strong teaching that we needed to evangelize, to share our faith, but when did you last hear a message calling us to model our lives after the Sermon on the Mount? It’s as if the average American Jesus follower lives by the credo…

While talking with members of our missional tribe, this subject came up as a passing observation, but it has been resonating with me ever since. It was noted that the missional paradigm is about a fundamental and essential change in our core being which leads us to realign ourselves with the biblical narrative. That shift or change might be verbally illustrated as…

We no longer live the “American dream” with the rare “gospel presentation,” but begin to understand, apply, and walk in the faith Jesus taught and demanded. Out of this deep significant journey into “the way of Jesus,” we will be “conformed to the likeness of his Son” and have a life worth sharing. One which resonates with purpose, hope and meaning. A life where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for Him and others.