Tuesday, February 10, 2009

False Ideas 4: Great faith in flimsy things

I do not want to boast, but let me tell you a brief story of the time I exhibited the greatest faith of my life. Several years ago I slipped in our shower tub. In a desperate act of radical faith, I reached out and held on to the shower curtain for support. Needless to say I not only bruised my body, but I had to reattach the shower curtain...wet, sudsy and naked (sorry for that picture). It is not the amount of our faith that is as important as what we place that faith in.

Having great faith in flimsy things is not admirable but foolish. We do this in many ways in Churchianity.

I believe that changing our views on what is secular and what is sacred can have immense implications. When we actually believe that Christ's presence within each of us is in fact the greatest treasure we have, than we will not only value it more but trust in it more. We need not trust the frail walls of sacred institutions for our holiness. Our holiness never was determined by our organizational skills or in depth studies of theology. Our holiness is from Christ alone and cannot be taken from us.

We do not get more holy by avoiding R rated movies. The idea that "I do not dance or chew or go with girls who do" is a pathetic caricaturization of Christianity, not at all the real deal. Circling the wagons to protect us from the world is a grave mistake. It is actually Satan's strategy designed to protect the world from God's kingdom presence. It is always the enemies desire to box us in behind the walls of false ideas that rob us of true faith in the living God.

We must learn to trust the power of Christ living within us and stop placing our trust in other things. In a very real sense, we must be called on the carpet on this. We really do place more faith in ourselves and our institutions than we do in Christ. If such were not the case we would do everything very differently, and the whole world would display the difference.

Unfortunately, it is even worse than that. The way we try and remove ourselves from the "secular" world for fear of losing our spiritual power demonstrates that we actually believe more in the power of the darkness than we do in the light of Jesus Christ. Ouch!

I would rather have small faith in a substantive thing than have great faith in a flimsy thing. Jesus said it only takes the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains when that small faith is in the right person.

We must remove the lies from the minds of God's people that tell them that there are secular places and sacred places. We must tear down the walls that separate secular jobs from sacred ones--all people have a sacred calling and therefore a sacred trust to be an agent of Christ's kingdom wherever they go. The cleric and the clerk are both empowered by the Spirit of God to serve their king. The pastor and the postal worker are each agents of the kingdom of God and must carry God's message to their neighborhoods and the nations. The barber and the bishop are both called to serve Christ equally, and frankly, the barber is easier to talk to.

God doesn't love one vocation over another. Even our own Lord Himself was a simple carpenter. He loves to use fishermen, tax collectors, and doctors for his service. His kingdom of light is more powerful than the world and overcomes the darkness. If we can believe this the kingdom can be unleashed from the confines of a false viewpoint of what is sacred and secular.

Yes, it is that serious! Don't believe the lie! You are pure and that purity is not lost when you touch a glass of wine or step on a dance floor.

I start to wonder in my own sanctified imagination what could happen if people went to work with a viewpoint that they are called by God to that place and empowered to do His work there. Their job is no longer just a way to make some money so they can feed their family and give 10% on Sunday morning, but actually a mission field. Even more than a mission field, what if it is God's playground and laboratory for creative work? What if they went to work inspired by the Holy Spirit to be the best they can be in that field. Wow. The implications are immense.

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