Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time for Light to Shine

In his interview with Presbyterian Outlook, Stanley Hauerwas makes a particularly sharp observation: "The church has lost its ability to be a disciplined community because we’re now, religiously, in a buyer’s market. Christianity has to bill itself as very good for your self-realization, and that’s killing us because we’re not very good for your self-realization. We’re good for your salvation, which is not the same thing."

It is time for us to stand up and dare to believe that Jesus Christ knew what he was doing when he called us to come and deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. Christianity CANNOT bill itself as very good for your self-realization-- that's like saying something is very good for developing heart disease.

We do not peddle a better drug-- we represent the cure! And the cure is hard-- "Come and die to yourself, and understand that you cannot realize who you are, or who you were made to be, until you are surrendered to me," says Jesus Christ.

Dr. Hauerwas sees the negative-- I see the opportunity. If we will stop mouthing the cultural mush that passes for "spirituality" or even Christianity, we can stand and open the door for this nation of addicts-- to work, sex, drugs, alcohol, exercise, status, shopping, _____-- to find REAL life, REAL freedom, REAL peace.

We are not, religiously, in a buyer's market. We must live with the fact that not everyone, perhaps not anyone who we want to, will hear what we say, or do what Christ asks. If we stopped caring about the results and consequences, and just LIVED in the freedom Christ has given us, the Lord will lead those whom He is calling to the light.

Life is pain-- anyone who tells you something different is selling something (The Princess Bride). We have nothing to sell. We are bought, and that at a very high price. It is only Christ's freedom that leads us out of the imprisoning intoxication with self.

Maybe Tiger Woods needs a call from that kind of friend these days. He is legion; the field is ripe for harvest, but the laborers are few. Shine, and watch what Christ can do.

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