What an ambition, getting persecuted! Now I’m not talking about what most do. They say stupid things or can’t shut up. They have few social skills. They press their view to win the discussion or spew simple dogmatic “faith” statements.
I’m not even talking about how we are treated due to the cultures characterization of Christians! These are easy, especially if you do not fit into the tight cultural Christian mold. I don’t mind the mold or the miss-characterizations. It is a foil!
I like the challenge to break this mold. I love my enemies trying to put me in it. It can be pretty frustrating for them. It is like trying to put an elephant in a Coke bottle. I can see their sweating, strained faces trying to lift my weight and the fumbling for the bottle starting with my tail dropping it into the bottles mouth. Let them keep trying. It’s pretty funny!
Now we will move on with the task at hand; Getting persecuted! Why would this be a worthy endeavor? Well maybe it isn’t the goal as much of an awareness that if I’m doing what Jesus would do for the discharge of those held captive, it will strike me too.
So the first step is to understand His radical nature; unto death, whatever it takes, no cost to great to set the captives free! Can you go to a prison and simply unlock the door or politely ask for their release. Try it!
No it is aggressive with rhythm and precision like a drummer pounding out a heavy beat. It is calculated. With eyes to see everything and perceive situations and listen we can work with a potent intricacy. With perception high enhanced by a type of powerful non-lethal drug called the Wind of God we can unlock the cage.
With a full scope of understanding we can go to work. Do you really understand your culture? We expect missionaries to have a thorough understanding of the culture they minister to. What do the non-Christians think of reality? What is the flaw? What is the weakness of their understanding of us and the world as Christ describes? How do we use their faulty foundation to help them rebuild?
Two things come to my mind. They believe we really do not believe. Why? Simple! We do not live the radical lifestyle of Christ. We have a highly developed dogma to isolate us from the possibility of doing more than live like the best non-Christian. This is a good characterization; more like a parodical cartoon. They have pegged us and we hate it. They have us by the scruff and we scream foul! Foul? They are right we are great at being cultural Christians, it is an excellent religion, but like Jesus?...yeah right...
The other thing we have is this. They can’t get out of one simple fact the haunts them. They cry and mourn and trash with their fist at God like they are victims of an evil mystery. They blind themselves like we do.
They must face death. They have a great fear and know they can’t escape it although similar to the church have come up with sound bites to protect their personal reign and sanity.
They die, they do not know what happens, they do not know who to trust, and refuse Christ in part because of us. We haven’t given anything but mysticism and a dogged religious life of self preservation. They know we do not have the answer...they see how different we are from Christ. Why should they believe this church?
Some are looking for it and others have given up.
But if you show them abandonment to the service of humanity: Serving the broken, healing the addict, drawing people-strangers-into to your familial embrace, they have a chance. If they see you will do everything, anything for the injustice and brokenness, we will destroy two of their stumbling blocks at once.
With this abandoned life style we show who they can trust.
Now, we will be abused by people and institutions. But don’t you welcome this? Aren’t you hungry for it? Let your faith and action surpass that of a Pharisee and the do-gooders of secularism.
You’ll have trouble with neighbors, police, courts, people you serve, family and...Oh, and I almost forgot, the religious institution of Christianity.
Go ahead abandon yourself to the fundamentals of love shown by Jesus; radical sacrificial love. And you can take pride in suffering with Christ and sport your black eye and busted lip when surrounded by the captives set free.
Note: This is not written from a theoretical point of view...do you want to see my black eye?
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