Monday, January 19, 2015

Just Another Philosophy?

Does Christianity have a place in society today? Is Jesus Christ relevant? Are Christians what Jesus intended them to be in the world in the year 2015? These are questions we need to be sure we have the answers to because the foundation upon which we have based our life has been shacking for a while and if it is not rock solid then we may find ourselves drowning in doubts.

I think what we should be concerned about is what we have reduced faith, the Church and Yahweh to in this dying world. What does the Church have to offer? What impact does it have? All most people can see is that the Church is a place people go to to feel good about life. It does some good in the community but so do a lot of other groups. It is fine for those who need that sort of thing but many people get the same benefit from hiking, fishing, golfing or going out for breakfast with some friends. If friendship and a sense of welling being is all the Church has to offer it is useless to Jesus.

The Church and her members were always meant to be outlets of Yahweh's glory. It is more than the meager things you can do in your own ability. It has always been more than just words. Jesus came with powerful, life changing words but he also came with compassionate power. It didn't end with him, he baptized his followers with the same Holy Spirit, the source of the power. As we read of the actions of these followers we discover that it was a combination of words and power that convinced people that Jesus and his offering was real. One of many examples is found with Philip in Samaria. We read this:

After they came to believe Philip, who preached the good news about God’s kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Even Simon himself came to believe and was baptized. Afterward, he became one of Philip’s supporters. As he saw firsthand the signs and great miracles that were happening, he was astonished. (Acts 8:12-13)

There was life here. It wasn't the signs and great miracles that brought about salvation in this case but these things encouraged and strengthened hearts. In other cases we hear apostles stating they did not come with great words but with signs and wonders so that people would not believe in philosophies but in Jesus Christ.

Our great fear of letting go of control and allowing the Spirit to work through us is dulling the Church, allowing Christianity to become one of many philosophies. Instead of being the only way, Jesus is considered to be one of many ways. For whatever reason, we fear the Spirit, we fear the power, we fear other Christians who have become dull to the Spirit and preach against him. But have we read the Word? Have we read what Jesus said? Have we read the birth of the Church? Power alone won't do it. Words alone won't do it. But when the words come with power, no doubt remains standing, all arguments are silenced and people discover life in Jesus.

There is nothing "astonishing" in our palaces of good works and philosophy. Nothing will change until we realize that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit because we need the Holy Spirit as he needed him and as the disciples needed him. We are not a business to be managed. We are not a social club to encourage. We are not an entertainment hub to enjoy. We are not a school of social workers to do powerless good deeds. We are the Church, the Body of Christ, filled with power, hope and love. Don't reduce Jesus to mere words; let the power of the Spirit to freely flow through you.

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