Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I think there was a time ... when the followers of Jesus were a tight fellowship of men and women who knew that standing with Messiah was dangerous. They knew that going out to serve would mean entering the flame of evil and getting disoriented in the smoky darkness.

They clung to each other ... in the knowledge that God had given them to each other and to a dangerous world, and that they could only serve effectively if they became one and, in becoming one, found an almost-completeness that wouldn't rest until every lost sheep, every weary comrade had come home to God's safety. —Tom Ehrich

Those are eloquent words that ring true in my heart. He doesn't say those early Christians wouldn't rest until every lost sheep toed the line. That every weary comrade would be hunted down and exterminated because his blood was not pure or his morals did not conform to the some current established order. Yet that is exactly what religion has done in the name its various gods and Gods since the beginning of our recorded time.

Perhaps this is one of those ironic, yet universal truths of creation: that when we are in power we cannot be in compassion. To begin to understand God is to begin to understand that the all-powerful God did not get his way with orders for obedience, rules and regulations, exclusive inheritance for the righteous. The Torah alone is testament to the times He tried all that and for one inexplicable reason or another... it didn't work.

The Christian message is too hard to swallow, even for most Christians: that God would renounce all that power, enter frail human form and allow his own creation to kill him with a slow and agonizing death. Instead, we skew the emphasis toward the resurrection... our spin is that death conquered death. Christ has atoned for our sinful nature, and we get to inherit universal life. Hallelujah.

What if we've mixed that message up?

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