Filtering by Tag: Jesus

Maybe It's Not Jesus They Are Rejecting

This week I'm talking about talking about Jesus. This would be part two, the first post was Getting Rid of Evangelism. Along with my own thoughts on the subject I encourage you to check out  Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis. It's really messing with my head right now, in a good way. Get it, read it, you won't regret it. Jesus is electric. Ruthless, witty, intensely compassionate, strategically silent. When I finally discovered Him, I found Him to be the most compelling person I had ever heard of. I believe Jesus when he said, "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself."

Jesus was magnetic to the messiest people of His day, the sort of people that rarely show up to our churches on Sunday morning. He had parties with them, in their homes, to the extent that he earned himself the nicknames 'friend of sinners' and 'wine bibber.' As my pastor highlighted a couple of weeks ago, Jesus said of Himself, "the Son of Man came eating and drinking."

I used to find Jesus drab, browbeating, uptight even, so I figured to be Jesus to people I had to do the same, to spread the infectious love of Jesus that wanted nothing more than to make me polite, responsible, and perfectly moral. I tried to obey that Jesus, but until I discovered Jesus for who He was, removed from the pomp, circumstance, and drudgery we've put around Him and gained a desire to follow Him, there is a profound difference.

It could be that people reject our message because of Jesus, or it could be that they reject us because of the Jesus we present to them.

I'll let Tony Campolo have the last word.



Selective Censorship

In case you didn't read the last couple of posts, this week I'm leading worship at Bethel Camp, in the hills of Kentucky. An hour or so ago I was camped out in the bushes, attempting to ambush Jr. Highers who are much faster than I am. But I have an edge; they may be fast, but my brain isn't a sea of raging hormones. So I hid in the bushes and let them run to me. Point for the old guy. But enough about my tactical prowess.

Earlier today I was having a conversation with Mark Driscoll. You heard right Mark Driscoll, but not the one with the giant church in Seattle, which is fine by me, I like this Mark's theology a little better. We were chatting about Jesus, which is really an invigorating topic when you're talking with Mark. Jesus' first miracle popped into our conversation, the one where he gave booze to a bunch of already tipsy wedding guests, which made me think about how un-Jesusy Jesus often was, continually bending the lines we trace around him.

So this thought was bouncing around my head all day, up until we started singing. Lo and behold, I had a song request to sing "Our God" which starts with the line "Water you turned into wine." So I began musing, as worship leaders do (even though they criticize every other worship leader who does so) about the conversation we had and how fascinating Jesus is, when I realized that I'm about to tell a bunch of Jr. Highers that Jesus' first miracle was making alcohol.

Thankfully I realized what was happening before I said it.

The tricky thing is, that was Jesus first miracle, and it is outside of our Jesus box, but two things occurred to me: a) I realized that there were several people present a bit more conservative than I, and really all they had asked me to do was sing some songs and b) if I  did say that was Jesus first miracle, I'd have to spend at least another 10-15 minutes clearing up any confusion I would have created. These are after all Jr. Highers. Jesus loves them, but he does so in spite of their lack of logical thinking abilities.

I continue to hate watering things down, especially when we water down such a vibrant personality as the Son of God, but I think I've learned there is a good and bad time to try to communicate certain things. And depending on the timing I may not communicate what I'd hope to.