The real target…
Most of our lives do not play out the way Imus', Jimmy Swaggert's, Ted Haggard's, Bill Clinton's, Michael Richard's, Mel Gibson's, or any other high profile person's does under the glare of the public's spotlight. But play out they do. Still, to whom much is given much is required. When you have a bigger platform, and take that platform for criticizing other human beings for being less than you are as opposed to criticizing what they think or teach, then your "fall" will be greater.
We cannot recommend living a life of condemning others as less than ourselves. We tried. It is not a positive existence. We are not holier than anyone. Neither is anyone holier than we. Because all of our potential and perceived evil was paid for by the Blood of Christ. Plus, all of our holiness has been imputed to us by Him.
I went to see this guy this weekend. He’s a very interesting speaker — and a guy who has been through the fire for actually having the courage to read his Bible for himself instead of just regurgitating what he had been fed. His site is no less interesting.
So much has been written about Jesus in two different channels — it’s easy to see Him as a little MPD (Now the politically correct term is DID).
On the one hand, Jesus is presented as a guy who loved everyone, who went around healing people and drawing the hearts of the broken towards Him. (The subtext under this particular presentation is usually, “Shut up and be tolerant.”)
On the other, He is presented as a guy who ripped the religious leaders a new one and who braided up a whip (Properly translated, probably actually a flog) of cords, stalked into an area the size of a city block, physically attacked people, whipped animals and functionally leveled the place. (The subtext under this presentation is clearly, “Look out sinner, unless you straighten up, you’re next.”)
The result of this has been a Church split into two camps: The nearly fascist rantings of Fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity and the passive moralizing or lukewarm social activism of Mainstream Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Neither, to say the least, is having much impact on our society — except as fuel for the fires of comedy…
But, if you actually stop and look beyond the stereotyping, you see a different Jesus: He’s a Jesus who loved everyone (Even his murderers), who was willing to lower Himself to serve/heal anyone and who really did die to redeem the whole world to Himself — and He’s a Jesus who was ruthlessly and aggressively intolerant of the ideas and hypocrisy of people who would act like they were holy, judge/condemn from that platform, violate the hearts of others and/or suffocate them with religion. But, even those people, He still loved.
I wonder what our world would look like if every believer on the planet was willing to walk his/her naked, unzipped and unarmed heart into the homes, bars, back alleys, crack houses, sexual chaos and relational brokennesses of people and simply love and minister the healing power of Christ to those they find there (instead of moralizing at them) while, en mass, also standing up to the hypocrisy of the religious/political leadership and demanding truth out of them?