Thursday, October 01, 2015

A Thought for Thursday 1 October 2015

“Christianity is not about theological purity.  It is about following what Jesus taught us and exemplified with His own behavior.  Throughout history, Christians have disagreed with each other on many different points.  The Practical Christian does not seek to have all come to agreement on these various points, but seeks agreement on only one thing:  If you are following the teachings of others and applying the name of Jesus Christ to them, you are essentially committing fraud.”  Rev. Guy Lynch

For many of the so-called “millennials”, Christianity is not very practical.  This young generation is not falling for the magic prayers of the faithful nor are they biting any longer the empty rhetoric coming from the pulpits of many churches that call people to “get saved” but does not call people to actually imitate Jesus’ very life.  The Wesleyan Methodist tradition refers to “practical divinity” in that we are compelled by Christ to put faith and love into action just as St. James condemns “faith without works”.

For too long the Church has gotten caught up in the Sacraments (or ordinances) of the Church as sort of a “check list” of pious things we must do – and indeed Sacraments do feed the soul! – but “holy” living is about much more than what we can do or gain only for ourselves.  If our concept of “holy” living means only to “go to church” once in a while and does not involve others, especially the “least of these” to whom Jesus refers, then our living is not very “holy” but is, in fact, very empty when measured by the standards established by our Lord.  And if there is some misbegotten statement that “Jesus did these things so we don’t have to”, I submit the one making such a shallow statement has not actually read and studied the Gospel accounts themselves.

“I never knew you”.  If Jesus is good for His word, we cannot overlook this statement and the context in which our Lord was speaking (Matthew 7:23).  But Jesus also continues with, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who build his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24); the rock upon which the solid foundation of faith can be built, the faith that will not be swept away by the storms of life.  What this could easily mean is that what we believe has no meaning, no real foundation, if there is no “practical Christianity” putting this faith into action.

The “millennials” are not missing the boat.  Rather they are choosing not to jump aboard a less-than-seaworthy craft.  They can see the leaks, and they have noticed the absence of a compass on a ship that will be completely at the mercy of the currents of a very fickly worldly culture.  Let’s face it: the “millennials” are challenging the “ekklesia” to show them Christ in the world today.  They’ve heard all the stories and they want to believe it all to be true, but they need – need – the faithful, those who claim to know, to show them the way.

Christ is “the Way”, and we claim to know Christ.  How about we begin to show them what we’ve actually been missing for quite some time?  Only then will it be declared, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.  Now enter into the joy of your Lord.”

For the fullness of life,


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