Saturday, July 21, 2012

As we REALLY should be.

Surely the role of a church leader must be to orchestrate, to guide, to lovingly lead a people who as a whole reflect the life and love of Jesus -simple hey? NOT! It is obviously lifelong, perhaps even unattainable in this life, but, that said, it is our goal. It is certainly my goal.
There are obviously a myriad of things that hinder such 'reflection' (this is a pivotal idea/word for the Theological Aesthetics that I believe is becoming the essential Theological stance I am drawn to take - Led there primarily by Jonathan Edwards and Hans Urs von Balthasar).
One major hindrance is what I will term 'absorption'. It is really a term to denote the osmotic process of Christian people adapting to and living by the values and ethics of the culture in which they live. There is no malevolent ambition behind this it is simply an adapting or a giving over of the radical ethical values of New Testament Christianity to those which are far easier to live by.
One small section of scripture is perhaps sufficient to expose the ease with which 'absorption' redefines our essence as the people of God and stains or muddies our reflection of Christ.

It is from Ephesians Chapter 5 and is the third & fourth verse:

"...sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or greediness, must not even be named among you (as is fitting for saints), and obscenity, and foolish talk, or coarse jesting..."

What Paul is here impressing upon us as a model of living would, I absolutely assure you, be laughed down and cast out as a model of life for the majority of believers whom I lead and with whom I interact. Hey let me say it more effectively: it is a model of life I, yes 'Pastor' me, would say is not REALLY one by which we are meant to live today. I've said from our pulpit that I am stunned at some of the DVDs in the collections of X1ers; John Piper, speaking to aspiring Pastors, highlights that he could never ever watch many of the films those listening to him speak would consider entertainment.

Challenging?
I know!

Absorption has certainly drawn me away from the biblical model of life. It is the power of the Spirit, not renewed striving that will draw me - any of us - back to that lifestyle which Paul intimates here.

Simon

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