Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Saboteurs & Undercover Christians
I recently read an encouraging, hopeful book about the new generation of Christians and how they live out their faith in today’s culture. They aren’t offended. They aren’t scolds. Their faith provokes secular engagement rather than withdrawal. Their intent is restoration. From The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons:
This restoration mind-set guided Jesus’ entire ministry. He was driven to be present in the darkest and most corrupt places of his culture, to extend his own holiness, love, grace, peace and purity to others in creative, redemptive and ultimately self-sacrificial ways. This is why God became a man in Jesus Christ. God’s holiness did not prevent him from entering our messy depravity; it provoked him to show up.
The next Christians…
…don’t fear exposure to culture’s ideas, products and marketing campaigns. They learn to discern good from bad, truth from falsehood.
They are driven by the belief that Jesus himself was more concerned with engagement than condemnation.
Provoked Christians resist judging non-Christians…the next Christians engage the world through a lens of grace.
It’s apparent to me that I need new glasses!
I am requesting a discharge from the culture wars. Have the combatants read St. Paul?
To the Colossians: Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Col 3:12)
Could that be the antidote to corruption in our world…and in our hearts? It’s undercover work, “a great campaign of sabotage” against evil, as C.S. Lewis described it.
I have a need to be heard; help me to listen. I have a need to be right; help me with humility.
I can choose collaboration over rivalry. I can err on the side of forgiveness rather than judgment.
I’m a comfort seeker; help me seek opportunities to serve.
Transform me into a saboteur…an undercover operative for Jesus! By the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.
From The Next Christians, Part II, The Restorers, pages 213-221
C.S. Lewis reference from Mere Christianity