Follow God? Obey God? Sacrifice for God?
I barely want anything to do with God. That is, if God is only or mostly the silly, smug person presented in our dumbed down churches.
God better be better than what we hear, or what is the point? Most Americans could attain the same things we get from “church” by finding some secular band with a mostly uplifting message. Attend their concerts, become enraptured, then go to some really good self-help or financial freedom seminar with cool tones and snazzy tech. How is this different from “church?” One way; the secular people will often have more, well. talent.
I am scared to death we will get to the end of all this and find out, while we could have done great religion, we mostly did bad theater.
I know what you are thinking and you are right. The dilemma of the -post-mod church situation should not be blamed on God. I agree with you. God has very little to do with this mess.
I hear you saying, “Just go where God is really.”
Or, “Just go out and make it all better.”
This is my attempt.
The common man, the Perfect Villain of our series, taught thousands in whatever natural amphitheater he found, in broad daylight, resplendent with nothing other than his words. His entourage was often so busy bullying the crowd (“Keep those kids quiet”) or jockeying for position (“I’m with the band”) they barely listened to him and almost never heard him the first ten times. He trained them. He taught thousands. He healed, fed, restored life, changed the air around him.
He does his best work with the twelve fellows he leads along the spiny-backed ridges of the Promised Land. Behind him, there is grumbling, plotting, men setting agendas and one so sick in soul he is thinking of denying his own nature to end his leader’s life. Out of this, The Perfect Villain will grow an extraordinary, culture changing religion.
A lot of my work these days is with fellows who are in a release program. Some of them have spent most of their lives locked up. They are out now, but some, sadly, are headed back to bars and just don’t know it yet.
I tell them, over and over in our training times, “You guys will teach and preach what you hear in our sessions. You will preach and teach them somewhere. We are just deciding which side of the bars you will be on when you teach it.”
For every man who stays on the Free Side (does not reoffend) the culture gains a productive human. The state of Wherever You Are pays an enormous amount of money to keep them locked up and gets nothing from them while they are in white jump suits.
Where is God and what is God doing? God is still about grabbing people and changing lives; what we used to call saving souls, when we still believed souls needed saving. We might be more likely to find God doing work with what Jesus called “the least of my brothers.” God might be exactly where men and women stand still for a moment to decide which side of the bars they will inhabit.
Our Perfect Villain was a common man when there existed separate laws for the common and the “great.” The “great” of his time and clime are mostly forgotten. His hyphenated nature (God-Man) lives on into our world. Cling to him if he is worthwhile. Run from him if he is not. If you decide he is someone extraordinary, honest and true, do not exalt anyone who wishes to dumb him down. Rise with those who exalt him.