CHURCH DIGS PEOPLE INTO SPIRITUAL RUTS
Besides, who are they worshipping there today,
in the institution? I know they say, "Weíre worshipping Jesus." But
is it the real Jesus theyíre worshipping? Or is it a caricature of Christ,
painted with the particular brushstrokes of the institution? I know theyíre
getting very excited and out-of-breath about something. Iím just
wondering what it is. I know they say, "Itís Jesus." Perhaps so. But
they act the same way at football games.
Tonight itís football, tomorrow itís
Jesus. It makes me wonder if excitement is the goal, rather than Jesus. For
many, Jesus is the way to a fuller, more well-rounded me. The crosses
around the neck suggest a hip religiosity, as if to say, "Jesus is my thing."
Look around you at the T-shirts, posters and
Jesus jewelry; the carpenter from Nazareth is very, very cool today. This should
be a red flag that something is very, very wrong.
What will you lose by fleeing the
man-made walls? The truth? Just as trees do not grow in alleys, truth does not
live between man-made walls.
Walls come and go, but truth endures.
You can run and jump and
live your happy life without worrying about losing truth; the real
truth. This is not like the "truth" you had in the institution.
That "truth" used to wait around to see what you would do with it, to
see if you were worthy of it or could live up to its standards. And then, based
on your behavior, it would adjust its opinion of you. It could damn you as
easily as bless you, scare you as easily as comfort you. It all depended onóyou.
Real truth is not like that. It's stronger and more sure
of itself. Human foibles cannot hope to alter it.
In 29 A.D., you did not join
Jesus Christ by signing a statement of faith. You did not go to Jesus
Christís church, because it didnít have a settled location. What you did was
you started following Him down the road.
In Jesus's day, people who wanted
truth came outside Jerusalem, to the hillsides and the fishing wharves - Or
to the bars, or to the "bad" side of town where the prostitutes
lived. This is where the action was; I speak of truth. Truth was
here because the people here were real. Their "crime" was: they
distrusted the religious establishment. They could smell hypocrisy ten
cubits away. The didn't fall for the temple paint job because they knew
what was behind it.
Martin Zender. All Rights Reserved