A friend of mine once said he would rather have a congregation whose faith made a statement than being yet another Church with a statement of faith on their website.
Growing up in the culture of evangelicalism there was a huge emphasis on studying the Bible, but I came to realise that the Churches big challenge is not lack of teaching but rather a lack of putting it into practice, a lack of application, obese on spiritual food that should be the fuel to propel us into world to transform it in Jesus name.
Church history is crammed full of the fight over Orthodoxy (right belief) but I long to see an orthopraxis revolution -right living and right behaving!
Too often we have this limited view of Godly living as not doing stuff (drinking, swearing, gambling or sex) but surely being a Christian is more than a list of prohibitions but rather about the positive things we are called to do and kind of person we are called to be.
I’m tired of Churches being theologically sound but in practical terms sound asleep.
Jesus himself says “why do you call me Lord,Lord and yet don’t do what I say!”
The Christian message is not just to ‘get to heaven when we die’ but a life where eternity starts now, Jesus talks of “life in its abundance” (In.10.10), a transformed revolutionary Kingdom-life.
Recently I have joined a new missional community and alongside us are some wonderful travellers who aren’t Christians yet but have been attracted to us as a community by the different way of life; sharing our food with the hungry and homeless, cleaning beaches and living sustainably and engaged with protest and campaigning for justice.
As I have journeyed with these new friends I have discovered afresh that engaging in living this different life is actually the call of Christ, the longing and groaning of creation and the very heartbeat of God. The life we should be living.
Within the Christian world I worry that we have spiritualised our faith when it was intended to be intensely practical. We talk about being Christ’s ambassadors and ‘salt and light’ but often we need to match our rhetoric with actions, Christianity was never meant to be a hypothetical religion.
Too often people think the Christian life -and the church- is dull, boring and irrelevant because we have not lived out our calling to see God’s kingdom come on earth as in heaven, shining out like stars in the universe and holding out the word that gives life!
The call of Christ is a call for a revolution living, not to passive listening but for action, a call not to blend in with the world around us but stand out by radiating Christ in our lives.
So, let’s accept Christ’s challenge to live for him, following where he leads, learning to live our lives his way, letting Christ be our Lord, and Lord of all.