Monday, March 10, 2014
I understand that evangelicals tend to see ritual as self-management and exertion—as “works.” If that’s all that ritual is, then we should be critical of it. But don’t think of ritual and disciplines as expressions of the self. Think of them as what Craig Dykstra calls “habitations of the Spirit.” Spiritual disciplines aren’t about showing that we’re trying to pursue God. These are gifts that the Spirit inhabits. They are rituals that God invites us into to live into the power of the Spirit. They are the way that you put on Christ.The Title of the piece? "You Can’t Think Your Way To God"
We evangelicals tend to think of worship as only an expressive activity. Because of that, we’ve lost the downward, God-initiated, formative aspect of worship. Whereas if you recover the sense that God’s initiative is at work, then the rituals and the disciplines are invitations to live into God’s power, not ways for us to spiritually show off.
When I read that quote from Smith, one thing becomes apparent - the approach he decries is about self. The key to genuine Christianity is to make it about God. It's not about what God can do for you. It's not even about what you can do for God. (Not anything, seriously.) It's about us submitting to God. Not in action - not merely taking our marching orders and executing them to the best of our abilities - but true deep and total submission. A total release of self-identity and a waiting for God to assign us an identity.
That truly is beyond thought.
deed submission thought