Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (p. 10). Kindle Edition.
What is it that Christianity demands of us? Church attendance? Good moral behavior? Tithing? Most of this stuff is stuff that I can tolerate. (Okay, that tithing one hurts a little.) What about witnessing? Turning the other cheek? Volunteering to teach Sunday School? (Getting a little more painful now.) How about going the extra mile? Carrying our cross? (Enough already.)
What is it that Christianity demands of us? Everything. To me, it all goes back to the first commandment, to have no idols, nothing more ultimate than God. Are you offended now? Most of the time, when we preach Christ, we preach the salvation part. The good stuff. You get to go to heaven, yay! Who would be offended by that? But what does it mean to be saved? According to the Bible, the message of the cross is a stumbling block and foolishness. (1 Cor. 1:23) I think back to Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. Did that not offend some people? Would you leave a movie like that believing that all Jesus wants is for you is a couple of hours on Sunday morning and a few bucks from your paycheck?
"A once manageable God suddenly seems nice."
What ever happened to that fiery, angry, Old Testament God? I think of the lion of C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. You know, the apex predator animal. The one that now we just want to cuddle up to, pet, or even slap on the tail? What about the holy and righteous God who had the earth swallow up people when they crossed him, or rained down fire and brimstone from heaven? Well He has been replaced by the God who sent His Son and is just begging you to accept Him. How nice!
"and the gospel makes good sense-as we are accustomed to making sense."
Now, God finally makes sense. Now He fits into the box. He is no longer that out of control personality. I like this God and I can accept Him. And if I've got this all right, I am safe, secure, guaranteed a spot in the coming kingdom. Awesome!
But what if I'm wrong?
We come to church, it seems, less to be transformed by the Good News than to celebrate our own transformation and to receive fresh marching orders for transforming ourselves and our world.
Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (p. 19). Kindle Edition.
What if it is not about me? What if it is about God? What if?