Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Comparing Apples to Apples…

I find it unfair when people compare Paul’s ministry to modern American church ministry. There is no comparison. Perhaps I sound a little harsh when I remind myself that there is nothing that would normally attract us to Christ and that the message modern preachers share is different then what the disciples preach… perhaps.

In my economics education, I learned we should compare apples to apples. So, the price of an apple at Cub verses the price at Rainbow verses the price at the local whole foods co-op. (Note to Pianomosicle… this is another economic thing I’ve seen you do intuitively.)

When I hear people talk about a purpose to life or what drives me to get out of bed in the morning or whatever, I try really super hard to be polite. And I agree that if one follows the teachings in the Bible and have a unifying theological document (in other words, let’s say Josh and I agree that difficult theological issues are resolved by the Book of Concord instead of Josh’s interpretation of scripture and Liz’s interpretation of scripture), sure, our marriage will be unified and better and stuff like that. But, would I dare preach the message that following Jesus makes ones earthly life better to someone in the 10 40 window (I’m operating under the assumption that the people reading this are familiar with missions).

So, let’s compare apples to apples. Who are the “leaders” in American Christianity… Billy Graham? Rick Warren? Joel Osteen? Greg Laurie? Are any of them in risk of, as Josh likes to say, “Having the crap kicked out of them until they almost die,” or loosing their lives due to anything other then old age? No. Who are the “leaders” in the church in China, Kenya? Are their physical health and well-being at risk? I don’t know, and probably so. What about the disciples? Seems to me, they were all tortured and killed.

I’m not saying those not in danger aren’t “real” Christians or whatever. But we need to compare the ministry of the disciples in its proper historical context. What drove the Apostle Paul and the other disciples wasn’t a religious philosophy that would make people feel better about life. No. When Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me,” they experienced the literal fulfillment of this message. What drove Paul and the other disciples was that man is in danger of the fires of Hell.

What’s the good news? The good news is, Christ died to pay the price for your life. He didn’t drop a bag of his blood at your feet and say, “Buy yourself out.” No, he paid for it himself. And he forgives your sins and restores your relationship with God so you won’t go to Hell. The price is paid. Repent of your sins. Live in Christian freedom.

Remember that, when the Apostle Paul had urgancy to share the Gospel, his urgancy was he might not live to see tomorrow. Our modern definition of "purpose" is not what the Apostle Paul experienced.

2 Comments:

  • At 4:20 PM , Blogger Uncle Ben said...

    We face a very different danger than the one facing Paul and the Apostles, the lack of persecution. I'm grateful for it, but it can obscure what is of real importance.

     
  • At 4:54 PM , Blogger Liz said...

    I'm grateful for it, too. But, I don't think it will be too long before we do face persecution.

    Overall, though, I think it is sad when Christians forget about those who are persecuted. It is sad, not just for those who are persecuted, but for those who forget. History has this nasty habit of repeating itself.

     

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