If You Are Uncomfortable with Much Of Christianity…

I just heard Alina Fernandez being interviewed.  She is the daughter of Fidel Castro and lives in Miami.  Tonight she spoke out against her Father’s dictatorship.  She said she had given up hope of ever having a personal relationship with her father.  She spoke startling words tonight from Miami.

I spent some time this morning with Brian McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy.  McLaren makes a couple of jarring statements (actually, he makes a number of these jarring statements). 

"I think most of Christianity as practiced today has very little to do with the real Jesus…" (p. 59)

"Generally, I don’t think Christians would like Jesus if he showed up today as he did 2,000 years ago." (p. 60).

I’ve got to tell you, I don’t like these statements.  I don’t like them because I fear they may be true–very true.

I do know it is possible for a church to live for months and years and rarely mention the name of Jesus.  He sort of becomes an honorary figure.  Jesus stops being the one who we look to as our leader who we are seriously following.  We may do little more than give him a polite nod.

Far too often preachers, pastors, elders and other church leaders do not seriously grapple with the implications of the Jesus’ life.  Consequently, they do not seriously grapple with what he wants the church to do.   What would our churches be like if we were to come at some of these decisions with open Bibles and seriously look at the way of Jesus.  Would the decision come out differently?

Most of us say (with all sincerity) that we love Jesus.  Yet, we do a good job of dismissing, ignoring, forgetting, etc. some of his teachings which really challenge us.  (Yes, I know that is a sweeping generalization but I think it more often true than not). 

It is time that these churches we are apart of stop trying to figure out how to oil the machinery so that we will run more smoothly and start asking the hard Jesus questions.

I’m going to give this more thought.  Will you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “If You Are Uncomfortable with Much Of Christianity…

  1. I have been giving copies of “The Practice of the Presence of God” to my members. Brother Lawrence understood better than most what it means to walk with Jesus. It is only through that, that I truly “walk in the Spirit” and start realizing what the Jesus life is about. For too many Christians, it is simply going to church on Sunday. They are missing so much in blessings, and so much effectiveness as a beleiver. The Kingdom is suffering by our lack of understanding.

  2. I have said similiar things in sermons and converstaions over this past year. I don’t believe many of us like Jesus. Of course, the old word of it is hypocrisy. Jesus used it to reveal the difference between what was said and what was practiced by the theologians of his day.

    I believe, as Luther said, that the cross is theology. (no, I’m not Lutheran). Unrepentant, we hate God most because of what Christ crucified tells us about him and his kingdom. When Pilate showed us Christ and said “Behold the man” we shouted “Crucify, crucify”. Jesus is a threat to all the ways we use to satisfy ourselves apart from God.

    But without seeing God in Christ on his cross, I can’t see God at all, not as he is in Scripture.

    Yet…he loved them to the end.

    Zechariah 12.10 remains many church’s unsolved mystery.

  3. I have no profound comments, Jim. But yesterday I took a body up to Inglewood cemetery for burial (as a funeral director, not preacher). The deceased was gay as were the few who gathered to say their farewells. Having just preached on Jn.9 and allowing ourselves to “see” as Jesus sees, I was very intentional in my attitude, wanting nothing more than to be Jesus to this gathering…wondering what Jesus would do had he been the funeral director that morning.
    I agree with you, what McLaren says is hard to take because it is so very true!

  4. A good friend told me half joking (but probably more seriously) not to read McLaren unless I was ready to question everything about my faith and how I live it. There has been a book in my night stand waiting for me to find the courage for almost a year now. That may trouble me more than anything McLaern could say.

  5. Thanks all for your comments. These were very helpful as I continue to wrestle with this.

    What I wrestle with is not anything profound or novel. I am simply trying not to live on “automatic.”