Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Get Passionate

I get passionate about my beliefs. Gee...no kidding eh?

I make no bones about it. I'm human. I have clay feet. I make mistakes all the time. I goof up, make a fool of myself, slobber when I should spit, bellow to relieve the pressure instead of swallowing my pride. Yep, I sometimes make a fool of myself.

I get passionate about Jesus. He who is love is my love. I'm not ashamed to say that. He is more important to me than any thing in this world or out of it. Jesus is more than a belief to me. He is a person who loved me. Hence the title of my blog. When I screw up, he loves me. When I get angry, he loves me. When I get hurt, he loves me. When I do wrong, (sin) he loves me. And when I recognize that my sin has made me less of a human, he's there to love me and remind me I was made for his love and that repentance needs to be made. There is nothing to stop him from loving me. He is real, he is alive and I love him. Is that schmaltzy? No, simple fact. I know him and love him, period.

I'm also passionate about the church. The church is Christ's body, therefore, I love it. The church is both the invisible universal (Catholic) body of believers and is a visible body of local believers who meet in a specific location. Jesus prayed that we be a unified church. He abhorred division. In his high priestly prayer he prayed that we might be one as he and the father are one. John 17:21-23. I get passionate when I don't see that prayer answered.

Don't think I'm pointing anyone out. When I point my bony broken finger at something, I have three pointing right back at me. I know that I'm contributing to disunity as much as the next person. And I don't love that.
I think this is Jesus' most important prayer. If he prayed for unity then I should pray and strive to make that the number one goal of my Christian life. That's why I harp on this again and again.

We are a broken body. We are divided into thousands of different denominations. We fight over theology, the Bible, each other, liturgy, worship styles and anything else that reinforces what we believe at the moment. And you know what? The rest of the world see that disunity and laughs at us and increasingly considers us irrelevant.

Folks, if our churches are not striving for unity in Christ, then we may as well forget all other programs. If we are not one in Christ or striving for that unity, then all the great preaching we here in the pulpits, all the evangelistic outreaches we ripple out to the community will be worthless.

We need to quit fighting and come together, with all our theological differences and unite under the banner of Jesus Christ. The world will never never take us seriously until we do. Now, the down side of that is, most likely, the world will attack us even more vigorously. I've heard it said the closer you get to God, the more likely you'll get burned. That's the hard part of being unified in Christ. All this talk about love without suffering is nonsense. If we follow Christ, are unified with him and each other, then his love will permeate our churches. It will be a strong love that is exhibited best in suffering and hardship. And it's when the world sees us willing to suffer for the love of them, then we'll see souls come to Christ in abundance.

That's why I get passionate. I don't care a wit about sola scriptura, solo scriptura, infallibility of any magisterium or whatever other doctrines we admire. If we are not seeking unity in Christ and coming together to discover what we have in common and then partnering on those common beliefs, then we are wasting our time. All the mega-churches in the world are nothing if we can't be one in Christ. I keep praying for the day when a Catholic priest can speak in a Protestant church and be loved and accepted as a brother in Christ rather than the enemy. I realize the difference between the Catholic service and the Protestant services. The whole purpose of meeting together is different in a mass. It is not a service but a meeting together for mutual prayer and participation in the Eucharist. The two can't be compared. But, but, somewhere, there should be a place for the Protestant to participate in the mass and not be considered a schismatic.

Now, this is all fine and dandy. Nice thoughts, but utterly impossible for little old me to bring that about. I know, I think that too. But, but..I can find one person to love. One person who is searching. God said not to cast our pearls before swine, meaning, we don't just throw out a big net and hope to build a strong church on whatever the net has entrapped. I think he's implying that he is preparing someone out there for the gospel, and when that one person comes across our path, then there is our ministry opportunity.

My personal prayer is always, Lord, show me that one person who is searching in their own heart for meaning and love and acceptance. That one person who has realized that all the world has to offer just doesn't answer the hunger in their soul. That's the person who has been prepared for me...and you. There is where the rubber meets the road. There is where the church is most effective.

I'm just a lonely voice out here in the blogging world with little or no readership. But, I hope that somewhere, someday, some lonely soul, looking for something different, something with meaning will notice something I've written and will be drawn to Christ as a result. Then, I will have accomplished my goal.

That is why I'm passionate. That is why I bellow and rant now and then. I think the church today has forgotten what the main thing Jesus asked for in his High Priestly prayer. May God do a miracle, for that is what it's going to take, to bring us back together into a fully functioning body of Christ.

Until next time....Be one in love.

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