Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Irresistible Revolution:

So there’s this book, my wife and I have been reading for a few weeks now. The author, Shane Claiborne, is a somewhat tall, lanky, bandana wearing nomadic man, it seems. He, along with friends and the homeless they literally fought (nonviolently) for, started an organization or more rather an organism called “The Simple Way”.

To say it simply … this book changed a lot in my wife and I. Not in a “guilt-trip, conviction, pointing finger” manner … but rather exposing the flaws, tears, rips and frailties in the fabric of the (and I hate typing this because I feel like a judge) Americanized Church, or rather the modern interpretations of ancient scriptures, that we knew were there already. A lot of which my wife and I struggle with at times. (Name Is/Claim It, Prosperity Gospel, Kingdom Theology, ect.)

An amazing things, that I myself over looked when reading, are some of these illustrative verses in the book of Acts. Acts 2:42-47 is an amazing illustration of contextual, cultural and Christ centered community. See the apostles, in a loose explanation, had their own “bank” .. it was a community pot in a sense that all of the believers of The Way (what early Christendom called itself) would place all of their possessions, and money from the sales of their possessions, in to a community pool so whenever someone need something … there was money for all … not worries about “themselves” per say .. because “themselves” were each other, the betterment of their brothers and sisters …

It’s a cool thing to see, Christ, after he’d been peppered by the Pharisees, He’s then cornered by the Sadducees, do you remember the question .. "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" (Matt 22:36) Of course Jesus, without missing a beat. “The most important is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Matt 22:37-38; Duet 6:4-5) but then He goes on and says “The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." … and this theme of LOVE your neighbors, your enemies, those who curse you ect. Is profoundly more repetitive than anything of reward, prosperity, and self satisfactions .. if anything .. its opposite. But here is the joy .. and the “Cherry on Top” of all of these things … In Mark 16 before he ascended to heaven, told them to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all nations and peoples” or some translations say “Go Ye (you) into ALL the world Preaching the Gospel that I’ve given you to everyone and make them Disciples of this Gospel” … Let’s take a step back. Have you ever thought … “When I die, I want to leave my mark.” “I want to go guns blazing!” … ect … these are THE LAST WORDS Christ, Himself leaves us with are “GO into ALL the world and MAKE Disciples of THIS GOSPEL” … amazing. Truly Amazing and in some ways … stressful HA!

So let’s break it down again …
1. Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to

“Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength"
2. Matthew 22:39-40 Jesus tells us that the SECOND greatest commandment is to

“ Love your neighbor as yourself" ..and that LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR

is in fact concurrent with LOVING GOD!
3. Mark 16:15 Christ commands up to GO and make followers (disciples)

of this Gospel of Loving God and Loving others … simplicity

It seems easy when its broken down …. Love God, Love others over yourself, SHOW/TELL people Christ’s Gospel..
HA! I LOVE IT! Amazing … and I pray this helps you, edifies you strengthens you … because it did and has done the same to me!

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