Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

22 February 2010

It's Me... It's ME!

I hate when you wake up in the morning feeling... unsettled. When something is just not right with the world. Like the sick in the pit of your stomach feeling you get the morning after Canada loses to the US in hockey... only less defined. In one way or another it usually has to do with a relationship. Sometimes it's between you and someone else. Sometimes it's your concern for another person's well being. Sometimes... it's between you and yourself. Something's just not right.

Sometimes I wonder what God thinks when He rolls over in the morning to look at His bride in North America. See... something's just not right with us. Even the most committed are too often right alongside WC Fields who famously, as an agnostic caught reading the Bible, said:

"I'm looking for a loophole"

We look for ways to enjoy our sin instead of humbling ourselves, asking for forgiveness and changing our ways. We look for loopholes to get around our mandate to worship and work together as a family instead of digging in and making sure the Kingdom of God advances in the wonderful way it was designed to. Author Donald Miller helps run an amazing program in the States called "The Mentoring Project". A couple of days ago as he blogged about "how mentoring can change the world one relationship at a time", he astutely determined:

We believe the government is large because the church has been too small. We believe fatherless boys are the lead domino affecting a number of social problems including crime, teen drop out rates, unwanted pregnancy and abortion, and eventually divorce rates. We talk openly at our board meetings about the most economically efficient way to shut down as many as 15% of American prisons within a single generation through one-on-one relationships with young, fatherless men. We believe there is only one institution that can turn back the tide on dysfunctional families, and that institution is the church.

Do we care enough to change? To work? Or is the cost of following THE Christ who died for us so that we ALL can really live, just too heavy for our fragile selves? And the social gospel without the redemption that comes with the acceptance and surrender to Jesus Christ... does not work. Derek Webb wrote a razor-sharp album about the church as the bride of Christ a few years back called “She Must and Shall go Free”. In his song, “Wedding Dress” he wrote,

'I am a whore I do confess, I put you on just like a wedding dress and run down the aisle. I'm a prodigal with no way home, I put you on just like a ring of gold and I run down the aisle to you.”

When I think about this, the image that is ingrained into my permanent consciousness is that of my pastor and friend Brian Beattie.

A couple of years ago on Mother's Day Sunday as his wife Sharlyss was teaching about the church as the bride, Brian stormed out of the back of our church barroom. He was dressed as if Ringling Brothers had exploded on his face with a long black wig and a dirtied up dress. He ran to the front of the room, chest puffed out in front of him, proudly displaying his gigantic, fake lopsided bosom.

As Sharlyss continued to talk about the glowing Bride of Christ that Jesus is coming back for, Brian kept shouting... “It's Me! It's ME!” proudly pronouncing the arrival of the unprepared, unkept goddess. I can't get the image out of my head when I think about our marriage to a King who is without sin, who when He looks at me... sees "the hope of glory".

I think I'd understand if God just forgave my hideousness and patted me on the head as Abba Father. I get that. Abba can even discipline if He wants. That makes sense. I'd get it if he wanted to hang out with me in that, “oh that's just Kramer, my wacky neighbor” way. “He does some pretty out there things... but don't pay him no mind, it's just his way”. But that's not enough for God. He chooses to woo us, even though we won't stop shouting "It's me", to a place of freedom while looking at me with "those" eyes.

This week on Freedom House TV, we're going to discuss if Christianity works (both definitions of work). You should join us for that discussion. But we can... and must change. The world needs the church to be "The Church". What a testament to the nature of God it is to know that even though He, by all rights, SHOULD wake up with that unsettled "everything's a mess" feeling about us... instead He wants to love us into Freedom.

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