Church is a Collection of Idiots

The early days of the anti-itch meditation existed to point out theological idiocy on display in the Church. It was fun. It was also largely depressing. I had to stop.

However, since those days, although I have stopped pursuing stories of Church idiocy (which are still ample), I have continued to point out mindless Churchy drivel that comes my way.

I even started a comic strip about it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (I’m reading a new biography of him so I’m getting lots of good quotes) said, “Christianity conceals within itself a germ hostile to the church.”

Amen, brother!

Christianity is the following of Christ, who was largely opposed to religious structure, particularly religious structure that completely missed the point of Scripture for the sake of its religious structure. Zeal for God’s house ate Him up.

To follow Christ is to carry on the mission of attacking religious structures that trump themselves over Scripture. All Christians should have a healthy wariness of the Church.

This is proved by Scripture (Matthew 23) as well as Church History. The Church is made up of people and people are idiots. Therefore, the Church is a collection of idiots. Idiocy will ensue.

At the same time there is hatred for all that corrupts the Church, there is a deep love for the health and benefits of the Church. There is a desire to push past human idiocy to get to Christ-centered unity and fellowship.

If nothing else, being in the Church has made me long for the day when I will be in heaven, surrounded by Christ-bought, Christ taught believers. What a day of rejoicing it will be.

In the meanwhile. fight the idiocy!

Double-Minded, Lukewarm Wimps

The modern depiction of Christianity is that it’s just like any other hobby–something you do with your spare time.

It is rarely ever portrayed as a way of life. The Gospel seems as disconnected with reality as the Cubs and winning baseball.

We’ve created a Church of mildly interested observers of Christianity. A Church that doesn’t mind sitting around being Christianized for a few hours a month. A Church that’s like Bill Clinton–we smoke but we don’t inhale.

Jesus Christ says He’d rather have us be hot or cold. Atheists are better in God’s eyes than those who play with Christianity. He spits our lukewarm curiosity out.

Make up your minds you double-minded!

“The religion of Christ is not a tidbit after one’s bread, on the contrary, it is the bread or it is nothing. People should at least understand and concede this if they call themselves Christian.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Slavery of False Liberty

“Our willingness to suffer for the sake of the perception of freedom is remarkable.”

This is a quote from Jaron Lanier, who is an internet specialist guy who was writing about economics. I found the quote very insightful into human nature.

Christians, at least American Christians, know that Christ has made us free. The problem comes because most people define “free” wrong.

They never get saved, they just enjoy a mental state of freedom, they’ve successfully quenched their conscience and go about convincing themselves they have what Christ gave them.

As they live, they will continue under the bondage to sin, they will be swayed by the group they are in, legalism will continue to haunt them, they will carry on full-well knowing that the freedom they talk about is not a reality and the hypocrisy of living fake-happy-Christian eats them up.

They pretend to be free while never having ever been quite so miserable.

Christian Liberty is shown by a desire to serve the Lord, to love the brotherhood, and even the careless liberty to love enemies. It is shown by spiritual fruit–a constant, patient, enduring, meekness and joy revealed by love, faithfulness and peace.

There is a remarkable absence of roller-coaster emotional outbursts good and bad, there is an absence of freaked-out-ness.

True freedom and liberty shows itself with a happy constancy that plods along the race course of faith. This is liberty. This is freedom. The flesh is crucified and the Spirit reins.

O that we would get this.

Defining Christian Liberty

The Bible speaks of “liberty” several times. Most Americans define liberty as “being able to do what I want.”

We then take this Americanized definition of liberty into the Bible and we read, “stand fast in the liberty whereby Christ has made us free” as saying “stand fast in doing whatever you want because Christ has made us free.”

A fuller reading of “liberty” passages will show quite clearly that this is not the intent.

Christian liberty is not “being able to do whatever I want.” Christian liberty, the liberty that Christ died to give you, is the freedom from serving sin. Being brought out of bondage to it and NOW being brought under the power of another–Jesus Christ.

We are to use the freedom that Christ gave us to by love serve one another. To bring ourselves under the point of the Law–love. Liberty means being freed from the tyranny of sin in our bodies, to use our bodies to serve Christ with righteousness unto holiness.

Being able to serve God is liberty! I no longer am bound to always serving my own corrupt, vain self, but now I can serve Christ with eternal blessings ensuing. Liberty indeed!

“And I will walk at liberty:
for I seek thy precepts.”

Pain Is Good

All of that stuff in the Old Testament has been written for our learning. Those stories we went over in Sunday School mean something. All Scripture is profitable.

The people of Israel are a great object lesson. Their deliverance from Egypt and their Wilderness wanderings have much to teach us about salvation, redemption, sanctification, and atonement.

But even before Israel escaped they can teach us. When Israel was in bondage they flourished. In fact, “the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”

Affliction and persecution have a way of flourishing life. Tribulation works patience, patience works experience and experience works hope, and hope makes not ashamed.

Go out and make your life harder today. Go for it! Poke an eye out. Slam a log into your shin. Run 13 miles. Enjoy pain. Pain is your friend. No pain; no gain.

Better yet, stand up for Christ. Say the awkward Christian thing. Blessed are you when you suffer for righteousness sake. Be a man: suffer.