Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Are You Passive?

Milt Stanley links to Eric Jones and this fascinating bit:
Warfare will be a common experience in the life of a Christian. I have said it before, “the Christian life is not a passive experience.” Rather, the life of a Christian is a life of action, a life of warfare against Satan and his demons, a life of passionate obedience to our Commanding Office, and ultimately a life of victory.
I can take or leave warfare imagery. I believe in Satan, but I also believe that the language of warfare can place too much emphasis on the enemy, when winning is all about what I do. I have seen people get so caught up in looking for the devil in every detail that they forgot they the goal was for themselves to be transformed.

But this statement is a gem:
the Christian life is not a passive experience
many people appropriate the good news of God's infinite grace as "sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride?" How many people think the gospel begins and ends with just belief?

How often do we design what we do as Christian community to preserve and enhance that misconception? We build our churches so that people can come enjoy the show, instead of come and commit to action. We build our churches to allow anonymity because when you know someone's name you might ask something of them, and they don't want that.

And yet, Jesus does not ask something of us, He asks everything. What's more, sacrifice is activity, not passivity. Why did Jesus tear through the moneychangers in the Temple? We will never know with precision, but I think it had less to do with the mishandling of money and more to do with the fact that they made the observation of the sacrificial rites just a little too easy. They reduced the genuine act of giving to the Lord to a mere ceremonial exchange of cash.

How hard do we work in our lives to move the genuinely active to the ceremonially passive? We engage in ritual to avoid the real.

We are called to be active and restless, never satisfied as Christians. Are you just a bit too satisfied?

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