Monday, August 6, 2007

Fear and Trembling

12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
Mathew Henry says about Phillipians 2:12:
It is not for us to judge other people; we have enough to do to look to ourselves; and, though we must promote the common salvation ( Jude 3) as much as we can, yet we must upon no account neglect our own.
I have decided to end my ties with the institutional church. I still have responsibilities for one or two small things but these soon will be delegated to others and I will be a full time UNvolunteer.

This may come as a surprise to some and also to me but I have in the last 3 weeks become very disturbed at what I see presented in the Gospels and what I see presented in institutionalized religion. I feel like Christ has been hijacked and sold as cheap wares to whoever wants to have a "relationship". We have sold this relationship pretty hard and pretty well. Now we have a lot of people who worship a magic genie who they can pray to make everything better.

I don't think the Gospel advocate this at all. I also don't think the gospels advocate a con-artist sales model. I don't think Christ asks us to get people to give a little of themselves and then a little more and then a little at their convenience until they are "fully devoted" Christians (whatever that means). It just seems sneaky. I don't see biblically this at all. I do see people LIVING in a totally counter-cultural way and people seeing and believing that that is the better way. No watering or dumbing it down. No slipping in the real Jesus when they aren 't looking. Full blown Jesus 24x7 that makes outsiders question why people choose to live that way.

I have started to feel that there isn't a simple line you cross after you have said a prayer and all is good after that. Maybe there is a line but I don't know if its where evangelicalism has put it. Don't know if its where I have put it (even though I don't think I can even find it.)

Today I choose to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. I don't have a great ending for this post as I don't have a great or even good answer. I know that God loves me and he loves all the people of the world. I believe he loves all of us in a way we can't fathom but I just don't think our response is part-time Christ following because we can't fit it into our schedule.

Father forgive me for my judgment of others as I have and always will have an unmeasurable distance to go. Help me move towards you and let my actions be enough to show your amazing love.

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