As you may know, I’m a churchie. I grew up in church. Built my social networks around church. Developed my gifts in church. Now I co-pastor a church. (And for the record, I absolutely love God’s Church).
But even though I’ve heard more sermons than Peyton Manning has passing yards, there are still some things I’ve absorbed into my understanding of God that just aren’t true.
The biggest gaffe most churchies face is allowing Jesus to just become a culture (no offense to Kim Walker). A philosophy to ascribe to. An unwritten list of behaviors and thought processes that protect us from a sinful world. Like a supernatural Batman suit repelling evil as I, the dark knight, make my way through the sludge of this disgusting world into the glory of eternity.
Visually, it may look something like this:
But keeping up this facade is futile, frustrating, and exhausting (and not as appealing to non-churchies as the Batman analogy might make it seem).
So I see many of my churchie friends rejecting this “Jesus as just a culture” way of life. Throwing off many of the ridiculous, behavior-based expectations they often grew up with. Breaking free. Going commando (be careful Googling that if you don’t know what it means).
And in so many ways, I love it. I’m right there with you. Except for one concern.
At the center of this lie many of us grew up believing about God was…me. Cultural protection. Self protection. Self righteousness. Me. And simply removing the outer layer still leaves the exact same person at the center.
Shedding lies without embracing the truth just leaves you naked.
The truth of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ comes to live inside of me. That me dies. That Christ becomes the new center. And out of His life flows my life. True life. True freedom.
“Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine.” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.” (Gal. 2:21 MSG)
So lose the lies. Shed the baggage. Go commando. Christ came so that you could be free.
Free to put Him at the center.