Daily Archives: March 10, 2004

Same Old Lies in New Costumes

“We need less reformation and more transformation…The lie often comes in a new form that looks like enlightenment. We all say, ‘This is it,’ and we jump on the bandwagon.” – excerpted from Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs

Looking for the next big thing has been quite the trend in modern Christianity. Fads come and go. Yet the foundation of the Gospel remains very simple. People need a savior. People want to be loved and accepted. God has made a way for us to partake of His divine life. Jesus made all things new on the cross. People are designed to live in oneness with God and other Christians. Love covers a multitude of sins, and we are to love one another as Jesus has loved us.

These truths are very simple yet profoundly radical. Instead of chasing ministry fads and looking for quick fixes, may the Church should focus on getting to know God and loving other people. By holding fast to these key disciplines, true believers will find their unique rhythm and voice. Why go for the same old lie in new clothes when you can have the real thing? All it takes is to make the spaces in life so that you can connect with God and other people.

Why Does the Modern Church Fail to Impact the World?

Quoted from Next Reformation.com “But if we are defined by a weekly event.. if we take our cues for the meaning of priesthood, worship, vocation and more from that event, it is no wonder that discipleship, mission, and shared priesthood have ceased to be lived out. It is no wonder, in turn, that believers are bored, are not formed spiritually, and have virtually no impact on the world around them. And it is little wonder that evangelical Christianity is on the decline.

“In our contemporary times, consumerism is built into the Church because people are consumerist. Structures reflect and enforce what already exists in people.

“This is part of the reason I am for smallness and simplicity. In larger structures, it is too easy to disown the problem. We may hear, ‘It’s the system, it’s not us,’ or we may ‘forget’ deny the existence of problems because of our immersion in programs and tasks. The larger our structures, and the more complex, the less we are face to face with one another, the less likely we are to experience the kind of intimacy that allows the loving confrontation and ‘holding the feet to the fire’ that enables true transformation.”

While there certainly are pockets of people being affected by the Church all over the world, there is plenty of spiritual death within modern ‘Christianity’ too. Ultimately, if the Church misses the mark, the failure belongs to us not God. The book of Revelation identifies what it takes to defeat the powers of this world.

Revelation 12:10-11

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death.

How many of us are really willing to live out that last part? Loving not our lives unto death is a tall order for people who complain every time a little hardship comes our way. Honestly, I’m not there yet. But I want to get there. We can’t reach where we want to be without the Church learning to become crucified ones. Only the power of God can transform a hard-hearted people.

What does the Church need to really impact the world around it? The Church needs to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourself. We need more of Jesus and death to self. The body must become one in Christ – grounded in truth and living by the Spirit. I shake my head and wonder, ‘Is this ever possible.’ Then I look up and know that with God all things are possible!