Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Don't Be Nice

In Matthew 16 when Christ talks about building his church he says several things that several theologians have hosted several debates to weigh their several different opinions about. None of these address the significant challenge that is proposed to Peter. It was Rick Atchley in a series on prayer he did a few years ago where I first heard Christ's goad pointed out. Jesus tells Peter that the GATES OF HELL will not prevail against his church.

Gates are a defensive tool. Gates mark owned property. Gates are effective not in claiming new ground, but in persevering old territories. One does not take gates along with them on offensives. Jesus does not tell Peter that the forces of Hell will not prevail against the gates of the church! Instead his challenge is to CRUSADE into the enemies property. It is HELL'S defenses that can not prevail against the onslaught of the Kingdom's advances!

We are called to be an OCCUPATION FORCE. We are to knock down the vestiges of the old regime and stand boldly on the enemy's land. Christ spent little time in religious centers. He instead went into the commerce of the marketplace, the squalor of the leper colonies, the homes of the disreputable, and the weddings of the ill prepared. He was present in the enemies playgrounds. He breeched the walled communities where the enemy's devotees were ensnared.
I believe that, like many of you, I'm God's agent, his tool of restoration and reconciliation on this dark planet. We're at odds with the existing order, citizens of another kingdom by identity, warriors by vocation. We've been dumbed down and domesticated by too many of our churches. Religion has made us nice. We need to re-discover our spiritual vocation. - Seth Barnes
Our nice domesticated Christianity doesn't look anything like that. Our churches act like we are the last fortress of the outer zone. People feel hopeless against the onslaught of secularism so our churches become their walled gardens of retreat. We cower holding onto our last hope for protection from these ancient gates.

Christ's church was never meant to look like this. We are the brigada, the front line militia of a spiritual invasion. Our lives the assault force and our churches the MASH tents of the offensive. Our campaign is a revolution and the gates protecting the old kingdom must be trampled to the ground.

Let's commit together not to "Be Nice", not "Be Scared", not "Be Useless" but instead to BE REVOLUTIONARIES!


Elysa said...

Great post! I sent the link to my pastor as it reminded me of a sermon he preached a few months ago.

BTW, just noticed the quote at the bottom of the page. LOVE it! Definitely going to have to snag it for my blog.

Kevin J Bowman said...

Thanks! That started as a comment on Seth Barne's blog, and I could get it out in few enough words, so I expanded it out to a full post!

I love that Driscoll quote. I want it framed and hanging in my office, that is the beauty of the Body of Christ.