All in This American Church
Maybe it is just how I feel due to my longtime anxiety and depression but I think it is more than that. I think I know deep down that there is more to life. That I am asked by God to do more. I just don’t know what.
If man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever , why do we act like it is anything else? Why do we want to offer a Christianity that is anything else?
Going to chapel 5 days a week makes you notice things that you wouldn't normally and I became extra skeptical when it came to many works of the Holy Spirit.
I have a confession: I am one of those women who loves a good romantic comedy or even – gasp – Hallmark movie.
I am a victim of this idealistic emotional puppy-dog fake narrative that is repeated over and over and over by our stories. One giant narrative echo chamber of fake love that makes it so meaningless when we can’t find that love.
Truth often makes us uncomfortable. We don’t want to face the truth. We would rather believe something more palatable than the truth. Just twisting it ever so slightly to taste better.
I did not want to read this chapter. Why? Because throughout my life when I have been confronted with the cold hard truth it has been extremely uncomfortable.
Truth is a line in the sand and it forces us to re-examine the suppositions we strongly hold as we decide to choose which side we will stand on. It also forces us to submit that we are not the deciders of the definition of truth. That is, we don't bear the right or responsibility of moving the line.
Is being set apart like the Amish or a monk? I don’t think so. Those examples seem to be outside of the world rather than IN but not OF. It's like they have opted out.
Holiness makes me uncomfortable because I like lines. I like rules. I like black and white and knowing with 100% certainty what I should and should not do.
If we would rather find solace in people feeling bad for us then we have yet to encounter the Jesus of the cross. A Christian who has not encountered the Jesus of the Cross may just be the fakest Christian out there.
What is most crazy about all of this is that somehow we have made the Cross something that isn’t uncomfortable. We read Paul saying that there is no salvation without the resurrection and skip the why Jesus had to be resurrected part.
The cross should make us uncomfortable. God's wrath satisfied when His son died on a Roman torture device. And we proudly display this torture device in our homes or on our necks.
The scene of the cross is everything my "holiness" upbringing screamed against. Excessive violence, mockery, alcohol, nudity, and murder all have cameos in the triumphant story of Jesus. It offends me. Let me explain how.
Status quo Christianity can be comfortable. It does not require much of the individual as it devolves into "God loves me" and "I'm not the worst person in the world."
After following Jesus for almost 30 years, I would have hoped to find my "sweet spot" by now. I would have expected to be "in the zone" with my Christianity. But I'm not.
I do not like to be uncomfortable and I hate being discomforted.
The difference? Being discomforted means that someone or something has entered my space, physical, intellectual, or emotional, and disrupted my preferred state of homeostasis. They have challenged me and, you guessed it, I don't like it.
I want to share a story with you. Imagine for moment you are a parent trying to raise your child in an inhospitable environment...
You know what the most popular verse is in the Bible? John 3:16? Psalm 23? Ezekiel 23:20?
According to BibleStudyTools.com the most popular verse in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11.
Using the power of Google let's chart the rise of Jeremiah 29 in our modern culture. It began shortly after a historic presidential election.
Holy visions of Moses, Batman! The Bible predicted the death of JFK and 9-11 and warns of a new Nazi regime. At least that is what Timothy P. Smith claims in his new book The Chamberlain Key. As my internal skeptic raged, I came away from the book as deeper questions about my Christian faith than I first expected. It's time for another Empty Shelf Book Review.