Posted by: minnow | August 23, 2010

Relavant Relavant Relavant

Relevant to what?  Your life?  My life?  The Church?  The culture?  What culture?  Your?  My children’s?  Muslim culture?  Jewish Culture?  Asian?  African?  Hispanic?  Are we talking poor?  Rich?  Educated?  Or ignorant?  I only have what I know, what others are willing to teach me, and what I am willing to pursue.  And I guess honestly, that  is  the point.  What am I willing to pursue?

Pursuit, or the lack there of, is also the point of my frustration.  Why is so much of the Church unwilling to be relevant, to (pursue understanding of and sympathy/empathy toward) wider spectrums of people?  Oh sure, we send out missionaries to impoverished nations but so they can become Bible believin’ capatalists like us.  Not so we can understand who they are or let them see Jesus within their own culture.  We protest gay marriage.  We protest abortion clinics.  We protest the Cordoba House.  We boycott companies we are told support these evils or some other evil, sometimes without even checking out the facts for ourselves.  And, we do it all in the name of following Jesus.

Seriously.

Sadly.

Can I work this problem for you, as my favorite math teacher used to say?  And for those of you who prefer to focus on what Paul had to say rather than the examples of Christ’s life in the gospels lets look at I Corinthians (9:22-23 if you would like to check references).  Paul says of himself, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  [Not that he  actually saves anyone].  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I might share in its blessings.”  What is Paul doing?  Sounds to me like he is becoming relevant.  Why?  To share the gospel.  What is the gospel?  Simply, the life of Jesus.  Hummm…

Criticizing emergents for the clothes they wear and the coffee they drink has gotten old!  Suggesting the emergent movement is dead (mostly because you can not saddle them with a leadership and organizational model that looks like yours) is at best premature.  And,threatening..er..I mean warning the Church that “becoming relevant is spiritual dangerous” (by trying to point fingers of shame at emergers) sounds a whole lot like the Pharisees telling Jesus to keep his disciples in line.  I believe the time has come for more of the Church to get out of line, to quit acting like being a good Christian is synonymous with being a greedy, self-oriented American. 

I hurt when I hear stories about people like Mother Theresa who by the end of her life began to question her faith because so few fellow “christians” were willing to see the need for workers.  Throwing money at problems so other people can fix them and we can feel good about our contributions is not Christ’s answer to the problems that beset the world.  Obviously money does not hurt and God expects those who have to bless those who have not.  BUT hands and feet and eyes and ears and hearts actively in the world are what make up the true body of Christ.

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