I have moved myself out of doors to fully enjoy the first day of Spring. There are several things I should be doing – there always are. I have a washing basket full of books to put up on eBay and there’s that storyboard assignment that’s due on Wednesday.
I could blog about meeting Burkie’s Beth yesterday. It’s definitely worth a mention and it was delightfully funny watching the two interact. It was good catching the Burks again and I really like Beth – if not for the primary reason that she’s shorter than me ;P
The reason that I came back on here, was to mention what we talked about on Wednesday night at Young Adults Small Group thing. Pete Downes made a ‘guest apperance’ comeback and did a mighty fine job of it.
We began with the sweeping generalisation that about 50% would no longer be Christians by the age of 40 and looked at some of the causes. Namely life pressures, spouse choice, career etc. Then at the implementation of ‘usefuls’ that keep us going.
- Spiritual Mentors
- Choice of Christian partner (if this is the avenue you happen to waltz down)
I have heard similar statistics before and as ‘freakish’ as it is, I find it a bit difficult to comprehend. I can’t claim to have done things overly well. I know that how I approach life and God can get sloppy at times and I certainly don’t get everything right but he is pretty well ever-present and whatever difficulty I have in comprehending him only very very rarely gets to the ‘existence’ question. I unfortunately can’t claim never – but am in some ways glad, because doubts, although unpleasant can push you on to something better and make you rationalise and work out more of your faith and why you believe what you do.
Complacency is by far greater the worry. Although I can see myself remaining a Christian I know how easy it is to let things get comfortable, to drop off the self-discipline means of actively seeking God – enjoying God.
A friend of mine, Analise (I hope you don’t mind) wrote this poem,
Unsettle our hearts
Feel like we will never stop
Continue to grow
Continue to learn
Unsettle our hearts
Not get comfortable
Not get lazy
Not get caught up
With our all
Unsettle our hearts
Revelation 3:14-22 addresses this.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (3:15-16)
It’s an interesting passage. Because of the whole ‘cold is prefferable to lukewarm’ thing. Christianity in a:
- comfortably numb
- going through the motions
- feet in two camps
sense is not much use at all. I’m kicking myself now that despite writing a few things down, I skipped over this bit – maybe because the discussion got too interesting. So why is cold is prefferable to lukewarm?
“A real barrier preventing Christians from enjoying the rest that Jesus promised is self-effort. Many have been so conditioned to believe that they must, “Do something for God” that they are constantly struggling to do more and more. Many have rededicated self to God again and again. Yet self is what stands in the way of victorious Christian living. As long as we struggle to live the Christian life, Christ is hindered from living it through us.” – Steve McVey
I am always a little skeptical of the whole altar call approach to re-dedication. Perhaps it has to do with my fairly emphatic views on emotional manipulation. I don’t think the issue is so much a re-dedication but a repentance and alignment. Which may or may not be the same thing. It all depends on how you look at it.
I think it’s brilliant that the, stand at the door and knock passage, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
Is within the context of being directed at Christians. It’s a bit sad that it gets so far removed from this context that we totally disregard it.
I’m a huge fan of this whole passage (Yes, I’m still talking about the Revelation one).
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (3:17-18)
There’s a lot more to Christianity than the going through the motions. A life of righteousness is both wonderful and excpetionally daunting. Certainly, God through his Son sees us that way without it we’d be screwed, but there’s still that call to avoid the lukewarm living.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8 read more)
And while you’re at it, over on Matt Glover’s blog there’s a post that nice and relevant.
Faith, Perspective and Passion.