Tension reigns throughout the hallways of Church. It is more subtle, I believe, than stark. Yet, the strain should be addressed in hopes of the call of God gaining fruitful momentum within society at large.
The conflict? I see churches doing what we can to sell ourselves in ways that would draw community. Who doesn’t wish to influence with favor? Who wouldn’t want approval from onlookers? I know I do.
Yet, the church has one (and only one) fundamental theme; Jesus died on the Cross and rose again. Our format seems to be attraction while Jesus’ power is in rejection. Conflict, don’t you think?
What are we to do? The theme of the Cross should get our commitment even if it doesn’t have our understanding. Church pleasing…go slowly here…will ultimately never please. Yet we keep trying while, simultaneously, continue to lose.
The strength of Christianity is found in suffering loss. Loving enemies (serving them, praying for them) has yet to be mastered in this format we call the True Religion. As long as we remain on the spiritual hunt for the satisfying and the ease, we will be trying to breathe life into a dying non-legitimate cause… all the while calling it… church. When we love the very individuals of the world, who are trying to defeat us, we will experience the authentic Son of God trek.
Christianity is in conflict. We tend to disdain the very trait of our Master’s call; that of dying to ourselves so that the very ones who deny and defy us may discover what it’s like to be truly loved. This is where we live from the cross…our crosses.
We receive historical mercy from God with our vow to pass it on… even to those many who would rather spit in our faces. Sound familiar? Jesus?
Christianity is in conflict. It seems to strive to build favorable selling points which look more like Positive Thinking Rallies rather than war zones and battle fields where soldiers die in mission to win precious ones to Heaven’s Harbor.
Never will we “sell” the Cross well. Never will it make sense. Never will our neighbors, including our enemies, encounter a more significant helpful solution to daily injury.
Conflict from our crosses… is to be honored; not demoted. Others win when we lose. This. Is. The. Message. Of. The. Cross.