Well, Happy New Year to you all.
Here is the first blog of 2014. Where did 2013 go?
I got to watch Christian T.V. over the holidays. I now want to do a reversal of what happen to Paul. Paul had scales fall off his eyes and he saw – I want scales on my eyes so I never have to see that sort of stuff again.
I only watched a little (trust me, that was more than enough) so all the shows may not be so bad but the one I watched was awful. Apart from the blatant demands for money (or love gifts, or whatever they called them) it was an hour of what Jesus can do for you and to you.
Jesus can make you rich, he wants to, if (big ‘if’ there) you have enough faith and send in your cash. So the millions of Christians in places like Africa, South America and India (not to mention those who live below the poverty line here in Australia, in the U.K., the U.S.A and other places) just don’t have enough faith. You don’t need food, brothers and sisters, you need more faith and the money will roll in and you’ll be fine. Send us your donation and the Bank of Jesus will be opened unto you.
Jesus wants you to be healed – and if you send in $19.99 (plus postage and handling) we’ll send you a book that tells you what you must do to get this healing. Ummmmm, what YOU must do? Isn’t it about Jesus and what he will do. Obviously I have this faith thing the wrong way round. That’s probably why I have no money and my back is playing up.
It went on from there but I’m sure you have the idea by now. The Jesus bandwagon was a-rollin and there was nothing that would stop it. Jesus is this, and Jesus wants to do that. Etc, etc, etc.
I was a bit shocked though. There is so much stuff we have to do to ‘get right with Jeeessus’ but not one mention of what we should be doing FOR Jesus. Jeeessus can do so much for you – make you rich, heal you, take away the demons of loneliness, alcoholism, homosexuality, pain etc etc but he can’t do any of these things until you do something.
Is it a great cosmic bargain? If I don’t use bad words anymore then will Jesus makes me rich and then I won’t use bad words anymore. What is this shit? Are we so bloody selfish that we will only follow Jesus if he does things for us? Hasn’t he done enough already?
I have to agree that Jesus has done, can do, and is doing a lot for me – following him is one of the best decisions I ever made, it is also one of the worst. It is the best decision because he gave himself for a world in need (me and you included) and there is nothing I can do to earn that love that he showed. But it is also one of the worst decisions not because of what he demands but because following him makes me want to change things in my life and in the world around me. I’m sure my life would be much easier if I didn’t follow Jesus, I wouldn’t have to try and write blogs about why I follow Jesus to start with. But I do try and follow him.
I belong to the Church, which is the body of Christ on earth. It is not one building nor is it in any building, it is the people of God, wherever they are, living out what Christ has shown them. And there is the best and worst thing about this life of following Christ, he has shown us how to live; the problem is doing it.
Jesus uses a very small word and this word makes following him so difficult. Jesus answered the question Foreigner asks before they ever did. Jesus knows and shows us what ‘love’ is. He shared that love with the world and with me and he tells us to live out that ‘love’. Because of that the body of Christ, the people of the Church, cannot stand idly by and watch the world tear itself apart. Love drives us to action.
Injustice – the body of Christ will fight it: hatred and bigotry – the body of Christ will stand against it: oppression – the body of Christ will resist it: and it will do all of these things (and more) because of love.
The poor, the oppressed, the marginalised, outcasts, sinners and freaks – these are the people Jesus went to and sends us to.
So why do some preachers avoid them? Are they bad for the P.R.? Why do some ‘churches’ (and I use that word in its broadest possible sense) insist that you have to be rich to be right with God (and vice versa)?
Jesus doesn’t need a P.R. team (we’re crap at it anyway) banging on about how good and nice he is and how he is the great monopoly banker in the sky waiting for you to pass Go and believe in him and collect your $200,000. He needs the body of Christ to go out and be that – the body of Christ in the world around.
I am part of the body of Christ – and that body acts for Jesus in the world. It doesn’t always get things right, it doesn’t always do what he would want but it does try and do his work. We (the BoC) are not perfect but we follow one who is and while there is work to do let us strive to do it in whatever way we can.
Let us be his LOVE in action!