Thursday, December 11, 2003

The point of the Incarnation was for the "Word to become flesh", for the "Light to be shown in the darkness" for the Kingdom of God to invade this corrupt and decaying world. And how far has this gotten us? I have been coming face to face these past couple days with ingrained church culture that has set up the battle lines, its "us" vs. "them". Our evangelism has more to do with telling "them" that we're right and "they're" wrong. Our whole message has still more to do with the Crusades of the Dark Ages than a lowly incarnation. When we have a series of big "evangelism" meetings we call them crusades. When we have a co-worker we hope will see the light, we say we are trying to "win" them. We memorize verses from our "sword" to slay them with if they try and refute our advances. Our sophisticated seeker approach to evangelism is to "target" them. All of this is conflict language, war language, yet the Incarnation was a different sort of invasion. Jesus came vulnerable as an infant. Dependent on human parents. Exposed to the natural elements of the cool night and unsterile birthing place. Jesus took on all the risks in the Incarnation. He risked being hurt by those he loved. He risked being rejected by the very ones he once helped form in their mother's womb. He risked the loss of a dream, disappointment, broken heartedness and a life lived in vain. But the church is not willing to make these concessions. Come to our turf. Change and be like us. Let us argue you into our mindset. Come and feel uncomfortable in our culture that we call "family" and you take on all the risks. Come let us evaluate your life in an unsafe enviornment. 2,003 years or so later, we don't have a freakin' clue about the lowly incarnation.

Us vs. Them. Saved vs. Unsaved. Found vs. Lost. Fully devoted follower vs. Seeker, Chosen vs. Reprobate, Redeemed vs. Rejected, Born Again vs. Carnal, In Christ vs. Under Adam . . . you choose the terminology. I say, as long as we have such well defined cultural and language barriers (and by the way, let's hold yet one more seminar/conference to sure up our language and semantics on this topic as long as we don't have to do anything about it) to separate ourselves from "them", we state with our actions that we don't give a damn. The issue at heart is not technique, motivation, program, relevance, annointing, gifting, approach, opportunity etc. etc. etc. The issue at hand is that we don't give a damn about those who are living outside the Kingdom reality. As long as we get ours, we get our worship fix, we get that preacher to make it relevant to me, we get entertained with our consumer goods, damn those who don't have the sense to go to church. (does it matter that church is not someplace you go but a people you belong to?)

The lowly Incarnation. A life of vulnerability towards those who are not living their created destiny, that is a relationship with their Creator. Do you remember, that used to be "us"? And when it was "us", we gave a damn.

Father, that the coming of your Son was not in vain. Change our hearts.


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