Saturday, July 25, 2009

To Hell With Practical Thinking

I just got through Your Jesus Is Too Safe by Jared Wilson. And it was like a sucker-punch. It was full of convicting teaching I did not expect. But I suppose that is good...still hurts though.

The one part of the book (a more capable blogger would remember and tell you where) that is still ringing in my ears is where the author talks about the impractical nature of Jesus' teaching and he contrasts such teaching with the way we think as modern-day believers - me as a modern-day pastor. He points to the sermon on the mount and its impractical nature. And it is. The beatitudes are the epitome of impractical. Rejoice and be glad when you are persecuted? This is not practical. The teaching of Jesus will very often not help you win friends and influence people. His teaching on adultery and anger and divorce and love for enemies will get you reviled and hated. And in the economy of this culture (including the church) this is ridiculous.

Speaking of economy, does anyone take seriously Jesus' call to not be anxious? Does anyone ever really consider the lilies and then not worry about what they will eat and drink and wear and where they will live?

No, they don't.

We pay lip-service to the sermon on the mount and then we make faith negligible by getting practical. We think like "gentiles." We actually live as if there is no God who loves us and will care for us.

What would it look like to actually to live this way? What would it look like to be a minister of the gospel, who rejected the practical thinking of a world who wants guarantees beyond the promises of Jesus? What would it look like to be this kind of disciple?

I think our practical thinking is resulting in the lives of untold numbers of people never seeing the glory of God in the lives of so-called believers. And it is because we value the practical nature of saved money and the comfort of the results of our achieving the American Dream. Therefore many will end up in hell because we never said "to hell with a life of practicality."

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