Club Jesus will probably always be around. But the glistening burst on the horizon is the draw towards more than that. We tire of the old religion and the Sunday club gatherers. We want our church to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We get that this world sucks. We get that there are needs, children starving, the sex trade, homeless people, disease, and oppression. We are only a mouse click away from discomfort. From a news story or post that makes us squirm a bit in our upper middle class homes while we change the channel on our flat screen TV’s.
And maybe we’re sick of averting our eyes, and maybe we are beginning to realize that our purchasing power has a say in the global economy. Maybe we’re realizing our lattes could add up and we could put a realistic dent in a major world problem. And maybe we realize we have a voice, and that the first step towards making a difference is to raise it in outrage, to denounce our passivity and take a stand for something.
I am a bit of a rah-rah type, who would gladly find a soapbox to shout from on the need for this and that. I can find a cause anywhere because my temperament always wants to dig into things. I am always looking for ways to make things better and my feeling side emotes heavily all over the place. It’s messy and I can be exhausting.
Passionate is a mild term for someone like me. Ranting sometimes fits the bill a bit better. And it’s in this place that I find I lose the gospel so easily.
I’ve seen churches who witness on street corners, serve the homeless, deliver meals, take in young pregnant girls, and a plethora of other ministries. And that is amazing. Because I do believe that at God’s heart is justice for the people He loves and that means mercy from the people who are obedient to Him.
I am not in any way against ministry, in fact, if it’s lacking, you don’t have a true gospel because we minister out of the overflow and God’s grace and love naturally pour over.
Did you get that? If our faith doesn’t move us into action, there’s something missing. And I know this.
But here’s where we sometimes skip a very important step. Sometimes we realize our faith is lacking because we do feel stagnant, unmotivated, unloving, and when we find ourselves there we decide to be a better Christian.
We choose to, “Be the change we want to see in the world,”but the change that is powerful enough to transform the world doesn’t happen externally.
True change is an internal thing that occurs when God replaces our hearts of stone with hearts that beat wholly in sync with His. And when we go out into the world that beating heart naturally moves out of His grace.
But when we go out into the world with our hearts of stone still leaden and heavy in our breast and try to be the change without true transformation, we fall short, we burn out, we become embittered with those who are not on our bandwagon. We judge, we misuse scripture to try to motivate our brothers and sisters to action, and this spurring on is not done in love but in pride. An arrogance that we caught the vision and others are still lagging behind. And God is not honored when we are not walking in the spirit.
We can minister out of ourselves, and even get a lot done. But God doesn’t really need our help. does he? If he wanted to fix it all in an instant it would be so. He invites us to partake in Him and in doing so, we are fully equipped to do the things He’s called us to.
The problem with those who profess their adherence to Activist Jesus is that they are leading the way with Christ in the shadows. They see a cause, and much like Simon Peter swinging his sword furiously at what appeared to be the enemy, they cut at the wrong thing, severing what God was meaning to heal and redeem, never truly seeing God’s whole plan; that in the coming hours a new way of grace would be born in blood.
Activist Jesus wants action. He wants those passive Christians spewed out and He wants ones who will vigorously make plans and accomplish things. He wants box checkers and list makers who will pat themselves on the back when the task is done.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
Activist Jesus doesn’t require solitude and seeking, he requires strength and solidarity with a cause.
But Jesus didn’t die for a cause. He died for a connection.
Just to be totally clear on the subject. I am not saying that if you are involved in good causes that you’re not living or accepting a true and right gospel, nor am I negating our responsibility to serve wholeheartedly as Christ did. This is something that only The Holy Spirit can show you.
I am saying that we all have a tendency to want to do something and sometimes our focus becomes more about the results than the relationship. There are many amazing ministries that are the hands and feet and heart of Jesus and I love to advocate for them and serve in any way possible.