As a follower of Christ, I’m torn. These buildings bring glory
to God and play foundational roles in the faith of so many people, both
attendees and visitors. They’ve stood for decades, centuries, and, in some cases, millennia, and we
should do everything we can to ensure they stand for more so future generations
can experience them. At the same time, what kind of impact could $1 billion dollars have to help the poor, hungry, and sick of Paris and beyond? And locally, what could $18 million do for the homeless of Pierce County? Do we really have our priorities in order when we are so willing to pledge huge sums of money to keep old buildings that we claim represent love for the least of these rather than spending that money to, well, love the least of these?
A couple issues with this. First, among all the different sects and communities of self-proclaimed (because, as I mentioned above, a lot of them clearly aren’t real) Christians, a lot of these focuses aren’t universally desired. Second – and most importantly – I actually don’t find any support for almost any of these in the words and deeds of Jesus. And if the “Christ” in our term “Christian” is supposed to be Jesus, shouldn’t His words and deeds warrant at least some consideration?
Leaders will be held to a higher standard. And for good reason, because people trust them to provide guidance. Jesus and James warned us of this fact. And even though I’m in no way a formal church leader, that truth terrifies me. Because I know people do look to me to represent Christ, I recognize that I am a leader. And I have been complicit for far too long with a bastardization of Christ’s love.
Our world is full of double-speak terms, where we politicize our words to make them sound better than they are. So I think it’s important to really consider our vocabulary from time to time and evaluate if it lines up with the meaning it seems to claim. I did that a little bit earlier this …
One of the common themes I’ve been working through on my blog recently is Christianity’s place in America and America’s place in Christianity. A few weeks ago I wrote about how America was built on the premise of freedom of religion. Everyone will nod their head yes, because this is an obvious thing everyone acknowledges, …
Jesus did not operate under a mindset of “we must protect the church from image problems, so let’s keep everything quiet.” Essentially every one of His critical comments while He walked the earth was directed at the Pharisees. He saw their approach to faith as hypocritical and lacking, and He saw no reason to keep quiet about that fact.
Fear and anxiety reflect a nature of doubting. When Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) after His disciples all panic, He replies “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” A while later when He walks on the water and they panic thinking He’s a ghost, He tells them not to be afraid. And when Peter steps out of the boat to walk with Him, it’s when Peter’s focus turns away from Jesus that he begins to sink. Jesus’ response: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”