What is the church and it’s purpose, what is God’s grand design, and what is our calling in Christ?
Talking about those questions often is muddled by all the either/or, false dichotomies touted by various voices in the Body of Christ who want:
- the Living Word without the authority of His written Word
- grace without transformation
- relationship without discipleship
- fellowship without accountability
- favor without sacrifice
It often seems that these either/or false dichotomies are rooted in the prevailing existential, post-modern perspective of this age – which heavily influences many Christians and seems to stunt us from growing up and reaching out.
This produces a very self-content, “I’m OK, you’re OK” mentality that seldom breaks out of its insular cocoons.
With them, Jesus seems little more than a friend with benefits.
I am 100% committed to the life of Christ in me and among us – and enjoying all the benefits He provides.
But in our fellowships, we also are 100% committed to seeing Christ outwardly expressed through us – in those who are lost, in our culture, and in all spheres of human endeavor.
Some, however, are so focused on Christ in them and among them that they have lost all sense of engagement – and so they and their churches no long redeem lives, history or the world around them.
For us, though, the passion of Christ’s life in us and among us naturally includes a very outward component.
The Jesus we know not only lives among us, but also is expressed through us – individually and collectively – to a world and a culture He so dearly loves and seeks to redeem.
I don’t know how others got their either/or, insular, self-focused perspective. Yet every time I encountered it, it troubles me because I see lack of health and wholeness.
My hope is that the Body of Christ can affirm Christ, while also affirming the things He calls us to do in fulfillment of the Great Commission – which is us extending His life and His Kingdom to all aspects of His creation.
It is not either/or – and it is not about me.
Jesus in me is the fount of life.
Jesus among us is the source of community and fellowship.
But Jesus through us should be the healthy expression and outgrowth of His authentic life in us and among us.
If He is not being expressed through us, then I seriously wonder who it is that we claim lives in us.