Friday, August 11, 2006

What Would Jesus Recognize?

I'm sorry I haven't blogged for a while, but, as many of you know, some things have been going on at my home church that required Gay and I to make a trip back. For those of you in the middle of this situation, seek the truth. Don't trust what you are hearing. I will write more on this later.

I saw this article in the latest edition of Baptists Today, and I thought it was very profound. It is in a section called "The Lighter Side" but I thought the message behind this article is very relevant to the church today. It is called "What would Jesus recognize?" and it was written by Brett Younger.

Jesus wouldn't recognize...
  • heated, fiberglass baptisteries (Rivers are better symbols that bathtubs.)
  • grape juice at communion (What exactly does Welch's represent?)
  • pictures of Jesus (Do artists know what Jewish people look like?)
  • DaVinci's The Last Supper (Why are they all on one side of the table?)
  • walking the aisle (There's not a single instance of walking the aisle in the New Testament.)
  • the "plan of salvation." (There's not a single "plan of salvation" in the Bible; there is a "person of salvation" who reveals and offers God's grace.)
  • timid Sunday school lessons that don't upset anyone (After teaching Sunday school in Nazareth, the class tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.)
  • age-graded classes (Wouldn't it be helpful to learn from people who aren't our age?)
  • requiring someone from another Christian tradition to be re-baptized (Baptists didn't show up until 1,600 years after Jesus.)
  • Robert's Rules of Order (What were they thinking when they let this into the church?)
  • Steeples (Towels are more symbolic of servanthood, but it's hard to picture a 40-foot towel on top of the building.)
But Jesus would love...
  • worshipping in spirit and truth (We lift our hearts to God.)
  • congregation singing (We join our souls in celebration.)
  • listening for God's voice (We discover what it means to follow Christ.)
  • prayer groups (We share concerns and dreams.)
  • Vacation Bible School (We give thanks for gloriously noisy children and gloriously patient teachers.)
  • adults asking hard questions (We open our minds to mystery.)
  • children hearing the stories of faith (They learn that they are their stories too.)
  • church supper clubs (Jesus said the kingdom is a banquet.)
  • disciples who share their lives (We become lifelong sisters and brothers.)
  • people who hug (Hugs are 21st-century "holy kisses.")
  • prayer groups (The prayers of the saints hold the world together.)
  • those who visit the homebound (Remembering the elderly is radically Christ-like behavior.)
  • mission trips (They are more fun than Disneyland -- and cheaper, too.)
  • class parties (Jesus came "eating and drinking.")
  • Sunday lunches and Wednesday suppers (Would you want to go to a church that didn't eat together?)
  • world hunger offering (This is the kind of offering St. Paul would take up.)
  • Habitat for Humanity (Carpenters, in particular, appreciate this one.)
  • people who know their way around Hospitals ("I was sick and you took care of me.")
  • food pantries ("I was hungry and you gave me food.")
  • clothing rooms ("I was naked, and you gave me clothing.")
  • smiling greeters ("I was a stranger and you welcomed me.")
...Jesus wouldn't recognize everything at our churches, but there is so much that much make Jesus smile.

4 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Cool. Praying for your church and your busy life. Still hope you'll play the One Book Meme in the near future.

baptistlikeme said...

very cool post.

Shortly after I got out of seminary (props to YDS) last year, I was driving out to my sister's Christian college for a visit. After the umpteenth nice brick church with new mulch and manicured lawns I wanted to scream "This isn't what Jesus died for."

Thanks, though, for the reminders of some of what we get right. May everything else burn.

Darwin said...

I can't believe what I heard. This whole lifestyle evangelism Is from the pit. There isn't anyone walking the aisle in the bible? read act 2:14-41 focus on 40.41 there isn't a salvation message in the bible? eph.1:11 act. 2:38 romans 10:9-13 also14-15 you can't seperate the plan from the person, The problem is people aren't being born again they are joining a club they hang out at church instead of the bar or the dance club. They say oh prayer is cool. Praying for what? People to join the church club? Read the story of the woman at the well the samaritans believed what she SAID not what she displayed, the people believed what she (testified) ie (greek to "PROCLAIM" A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.) The samaritans then said" we believe now not only by what you SAID but what this JESUS has SAID. She didn't hear the CHRIST speak and then go back to town and have a buffet and think once they see me fellowship they will believe! There is far too much fried chicken being consumed and not enough bread that JESUS gives, You see if a person truly becomes born again all those so called ( things jesus would love) Will flow out of the new man all those good works will come out naturally from the born again man. Thats the problem there is no faith spoken from the pulpit because there isn't and pastors with faith in them. To say JESUS would love a fried chicken dinner more than a person hearing about the CROSS and salvation through that cross and therefore coming PUBLICLY and saying I have sinned and I want the JESUS I heard about as my LORD and savior. I want to have peace and salvation from now on in my life, Is a lie from satan. Jesus loves nothing more than to hear those words "I believe please save me LORD" It all is a big con. You lead people to CHRIST by his WORD not by a chicken leg. Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of GOD.

Gil Gulick said...

Darwin,

I don't think you understand what the post means by "walking the aisle." You probably have to be a Baptist to understand this. There are actually Baptists who believe that if you do not make a public profession of faith in a church service and walk the aisle, you are not saved. That is what the article is referring to.