Friday, February 25, 2011

Blind Redundancy

I was born in 1952. By then the practice of Christianity had been smoothed by time and culture. But how can a believer come to understand just what the New Testament commands apart from the compromises that have crept into the faith over the years? I mean how can we be sure that we are not embracing a significantly diluted and compromised brand of Christianity? And let us not forget that the nature of deception is a lack of perspective.
I suggest that a healthy reading of how believers used to live their faith will lend some of that much needed perspective. It is so easy to compare ourselves with ourselves and to surrender to what you were born into and what everyone else thinks and believes. After all, we all know people who love Jesus and their spiritual lives are no different than ours. Doesn’t that authenticate our own expressions of the Christian faith? And therein lies one major problem.
There is safety in numbers, and in that safety we find comparative reassurance and affirmation of our own spiritual lives. I mean how could so many people be so wrong? It takes great courage to even suggest that there may be much more than what is practiced by those around us who we love and appreciate. And if some of those peers happen to be family it presents an even greater challenge to take an honest inventory. So often we are prisoners to the present and blinded by other people.
But by taking a look at previous generations and preachers of former times, we may just get a rude awakening. When we read about John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, and many, many others we are faced with a startling reality. Their spiritual lives and ours are in conflict. And in order to resolve that conflict, we must believe that either they were obsessed legalists who sacrificed much needlessly, or we are living a profoundly compromised brand of Christianity. The two have very little common ground.
But that perspective is very unsavory to the modern mindset of believers since it presents a spiritual tension and undermines the contentment of the modern church. And when someone presents such a juxtaposition they are considered either negative or self righteous or both. Long ago the western church has abandoned the idea of spiritual disciplines and sacrificial lifestyles that are in stark contrast to the culture around them. But without entertaining the notion that we are living a life that not only violates God’s clear Words, but is even at odds with many historical expressions of a New Testament life, we are doomed to continue as is.
In other words, we can never overcome our spiritual inertia until we overcome our denial. And the core element of beginning a journey to worship and obey Christ in the manner that glorifies Him can be summed up in one word - time. If we are willing to devote sacrificial amounts of time to spend seeking His face we can experience a deepening and even an awakening in our spiritual lives.

If not, move your computer cursor over 2010, and copy it.
Paste it over 2011, 2012, et., etc,…

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