It got me thinking about how we live in this world where our churches think it's our job to sell Jesus to the general population...we offer "live music" instead of real worship, we build massive buildings with bookstores and indoor playgrounds, the latest technology dripping from the ceilings, we spend our money on the appeal of the sanctuary, we have the cutting edge graphics, the "NOW" look.....but where is our Jesus?
Jesus never dressed the part of a revolucionary. He didn't appeal to the masses. He wasn't brushing the truth under the rug to avoid stepping on toes. He loved everyone...but he remained true to himself and true to his Father.
The chapter in the book talks about the sad reality of the fact that they church has lost faith in the power of the word. When I think about it... I realize that of all of the churches I have visited at one point in time, very few of them preach the actual word. Very few of them rely on the power of the living word. When did we begin believing that sugar coating things would bring people to Christ? When did we begin writing our own perfectly packaged devotionals and thoughts for the day instead of reading the word of the Lord that is alive, living, and eternal. The Bible doesn't get out dated....it doesn't lose it's power in today's culture. If we have no faith in it then how can we expect it to move people? We are so afraid of saying it how it is because we don't want to offend anyone. Let's be honest, the Bible isn't a pretty little story about how were all going to be happy on this earth forever...it's full of pain, sorrow, and conviction...BUT it is also full of grace, mercy, and redemption. It has become so easy to mention the good things and overlook the seriousness of the God we serve. He calls us to the narrow road, the long way around, and he never promises it will be easy- he does promise that all of our mistakes will be covered by the blood.
My two favorite quotes from the chapter are,
"Preaching Christ crucified without any histrionics or theatrics calls the Spirit to life. "
"For Christ's sake, don't come to the cross if you're playing a game. Come back tomorrow, or next year, or twenty years from now, but don't make a mockery of the greatest Lover the world has ever known. We've got too many phonies and fakers in the church already honoring Jesus with their lips and denying Him by their lifestyle."