Jesus Doesn't Care
I think you are on the right track in identifying the difference between some evangelicals and those from the mostly liberal mainline churches. My sense is that in all the hype about “red-letter Christians” and the discovery of “them” and “their progressive theology” that a big piece is overlooked.
Fundamentalist, as popularly defined in the media and on the left has never been as big a camp as was imagined. Evangelicals, well before the emergent church emerged were already quietly doing much that the media never reported. The TV evangelist’s can have all the hype and media attention. Most evangelical’s realize that God won’t share His glory with anyone. “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30) has always been a better motto for true Christians that the health, wealth and prosperity nonsense that is the popular media driven picture of who we are.
For 16 years, our motto has been “Living passionately for and like Jesus.” And that is why we have quietly started a health clinic, a clothing pantry, a food pantry, housing counseling, job training, ESL classes. And yet, we believe the Bible and see it as the only sure guide for the direction of our lives.
Yes, to some in the fundamentalist camp, we would be accused of being liberal for the emphasis on so-called social issues in many of our ministries. But in our town, there are only 4-5 churches that would fall into the Fundamentalist church camp. Overall, there are 40 churches in my town. So 4-5 out of 40 is a pretty small number.
At the same time, some of my liberal friends or just non-Christian friends in town think that our church is way too conservative theologically. Jesus doesn’t care either way. He isn’t liberal, progressive, or conservative. He is our Lord and Master and He doesn’t want to be attached to any political agenda, right or left. If the NT makes anything clear it is that attaching Jesus to your already formed worldview is going to distort what he said and who he is. He wants to radically overturn everything that we thought about life, God, political power structures, right and wrong, men and women. That is as true for those who describe themselves as conservative as it is for those who describe themselves as liberal.
Jesus wants to open the eyes of both to radically new and different unseen vistas of knowledge and insight. That’s why Christians call him LORD. He tells us what to care about not some politician or special interest group. Jesus sets the agenda for Christians.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Media perceptions and the people of God
Back in November, I was commenting on the blog of someone in cyberworld about the radical nature of the gospel. Perhaps this is a good way to kick off some thought in the new year.