Thursday, February 15, 2007

Continuing on Love

Again in reference to SHOWTIME by Tod Bolsinger.....

In the 7th chapter called, "Not you or me but we", ....Bolsinger talks about the different kinds of love, "with agape love being our final goal"...he says...."the love that is like God's love". Now I know that that kind of love is in me if God is in me. It very rarely, if ever manifests itself because I usually get in the way. However, I digress.
He then talks about .."taking love out into the world, but only after really loving the community of believers...and to what Francis Schaeffer called 'the mark of a Christian'." John 13:34-35 is the scriptural reference for this. He refers to.... "brotherly love (philadelphia), which is a commitment to fellow Christians not necessarily for all people". I like what he says although, as with everything I read right now, I have a different perspective on the terminology, or the language that he uses. I am working through the thoughts behind what is said if you will. I know that in and of myself, I can do nothing and so without continuing to qualify this always....and until all of this is crystal clear in my mind, I tend to hesitate to share a perspective about what it is that we can do....Arghhhhh ....not that 'we' can do anything in our own strength....(there is the dilemma I face daily.... :)
Anyway, in Bolsinger's own words...
"God is calling us to be people who take His message of love and gracious acceptance into the world. But before we have the right to say it, we must live it. More than anything else, we need to be a community that communicates to each other in both words and actions: 'I love you, I forgive you, Supper is ready'. "
These three phrases are what he indicates ...."a poll a few years back, gave as the top three answers as to what word or phrase people would like to have said to them sincerely". He suggests that these three phrases ..."may be the best description of the church, he has ever read", (and he wrote a Ph.D. dissertation on the life-transforming communion that the church is supposed to be).

I like his thoughts.....whenever we look towards being a light out there in the world....we need to make sure the light is shining in the community of believers that we are a part of. That Light, of course, is Jesus, and will shine where it will as we submit. It is what Jesus did though in some ways....brought truth and light to His close company of friends and then sent them out. Sort of like the old adage....if your backyard is in disarray.....don't be trying to clean up someone else's backyard. Again, I share that I believe that Christ in me....does what He wills in any circumstance and at anytime. He brought me to this book and I appreciate this man's thoughts on community. We have a lot to learn about community. True community. I go to, as Bolsinger did as well.... to Galatians 3:28. Paul knew about community.


Anonymous said...

"Sort of like the old adage....if your backyard is in disarray.....don't be trying to clean up someone else's backyard."

I disagree strongly - this is where Christianity parts course with worldly wisdom and past Church error. We are called to encourage and spur each other along. None of us would qualify to be leaders or use our giftings for the body if we had our 'cr*p' all together...first before we were called. Christ is transforming us daily - those immature and those extremely mature in does not handicap His Use of us as HE is living His life in and through us.


In Christ Alone said...

Well, ok, RoG...don't hold back what you really think .... :)

The adage was mine and maybe I misrepresented what the man was saying or maybe not. I don't think this author ever thought we would have all our crap together.

Encouraging and spurring along is for the community of believers around you or the body as you say? Tell me then what is happening if the body around you is not being encouraged or spurred? Just wondering and looking for some food for thought and answers. This can easily happen especially in the ORECs of today. But not limited only to them. That is where the "it's showtime!"....idea comes from. The 'show' becomes the focus .... not Jesus and His Life manifesting in and through each of us to each other and then out into the world where we live, work and play. That would be the hypocrisy ... when the world sees us professing faith....but not seeing Jesus in us. Very sad, but __it happens , I think.

Anonymous said...

I believe that His Spirit will shine light into the darkness - I have no light of my own. Just His. The recipient too, is limit to their ability to receive and that of the Holy Spirit to eluminate truth to them.

Apart from Him I can do truly nothing. I would be the first to tell you that 'I' have nothing to give. Christ living in me, at what ever bozzo stage I am at can yield dividents that are unimaginable. I have to be content with my inadequacy and His adequacy. I am found hidden in Him, who is my life. I apologize for nothing.

I think we are on the same page dear sis.

In Christ Alone said...

I don't know if we are on the same are :) a little further into the Book, the Word that is Life to both of us...that much I do know. Always glad to have discussion with you. The passion that is Him that comes through you is always pure delight for me.
Looking back one post...maybe less is better. Love ya, my brother.
In Him,

Walking Church said...

Had some additional thought...specifically on NT dudes called into His service:

When Paul got the call, his encounter with Jesus, he was hardly a mature believer (he wasn't one at all). He did not has his cr*p together at all.

When Jesus told Peter 'feed my sheep' he was not that great Apostle complete with the little halo painted over his head - he did not have his cr*p together. He was the little fellow with the sword that wanted to get into the ear removal business.

When Jesus called the Disciples together then sent them out in twos only to come back and report of the great things that had been accomplished for the Kingdom...they were not very mature in their faith...and again they did not have their cr*p together.

When Jesus, through His Holy Spirit called me to be available to 'do' things - I can tell you I did not (and still do not) have my 'cr*p-ola' together. He deems me Holy and of use.

I think human nature that it is . . . if we could do it without God, our first instinct would be to do it, take the glory for ourselves and dismiss God all together.


Mikey's God Talk said...

Well, in my humble opinion, it seems throught the bible, God uses misfits for His purpose. We who are misfits are used by God even in this day, I see it all the time. We are called to shine the light of Christ into anothers life. We do not do this on our own strength but His. Jesus is the light of the world and it shines through us when we are in His will. We do not clean up someone else's backyard, but we encourage, support and spur them on as they do so. We freely share the strength,experience, and love that is given us through Christ. I believe when asked to help clean up a backyard we should do so in earnest. What is freely given should also be given to another no matter what stage we are in. You my Sister in Christ, shined the light of Christ into my backyard and helped me to clean it up.God meets us and uses us where we are at.

Mikey <>< <>< <><

In Christ Alone said...

Nothing said by you two brothers is disagreed with by this saint. The focus of your responses though is as God is working in and through a broken vessel which is all of us. I totally get that. He can speak through Balaams ass and He can speak or do anything He wants through any one of us.
What God was revealing to me through this book was that those around us who know not God, who have not Christ living in them are having a hard time with the average Joe Christian out there...because they do not see Christ in that particular temple...and therein lies the problem...if that is Chrisianity...they want no part of it...sometimes "christians" are the main reason people decide not to turn to the whole reason for our existence and being. It is only through His plans and the saints that have come to the end of themselves and allow Christ to live loud and clear through their moment by moment day by day life, that something rings in them (and that would be God's doing...His Spirit, drawing them in)....anything we do in and of our own strength...will fall short and can 'turn people off of God' if you get what I mean. Every person we come across has the potential to see the flesh in us rise up and take over, and that means all of us...even us who are so sure we are living from Him fully. So, I contend that before the mouth starts speaking....I need to look to the speak because my advice is just that....mine. If He is doing the talking...and I acknowledge that ... to Him and to the one who knows not the Lord and to fellow believers as well...then my walk is not scrutinized so brutally and the hypocrisy is not seen (I think this is what is called honesty) as something in and of Christianity...but definitely is in and of our flesh because if I do anything...of course it is imperfect and it is hypocrisy ....because only in Him am I perfect. As Christ is seen in those who have a relationship with Him...not because of their religiosity...not because of the church they attend...(because we all know that we are the Church :), and not because of the rules and legalistic practices they adhere to, people are given the true glimpse of who Christ is and how He lives through and how we live from Him. We are not to be judgmental but the world out there is...and they need Truth and they need honesty from those of us that indeed say "Christ is my Life".

Just an aside .... this book tended to give me lots of food for thought...but also I saw a lot of ideas that I fully could not understand from my perspective on what living in Christ is as it has come to be revealed to me. A good read to challenge me that not all that twinkles from the shelves of the christian book store is gold. :)

Anonymous said...

The first time I took the Prodical Son tour - which was not so great was because I was looking at the Body of Christ (I thought a bunch of hyppo's) and took off.

The problem was with ME.

I took my eyes off Christ and was looking at the body.

If people do not see Christ in a brother or sister they should not dismiss their relationship with God...the reality is: If Christ can live in a boozo me then there is surely hope that he can live in another!

My bone of contention is that humans (both beleivers and non believers)we tend to put them on pedestal designed to fail. A stage like a trap door ready for execution . We put Pastors on pedestals... or other Saintly 'Christians' in this setting...etc.\

It is plain wrong.

It is all about Christ. HIs perfection.


In Christ Alone said...

I know what you are saying. In my early walk in this exchanged yesterday... :) I was so fearful of having a different way of looking at things than say a pastor who had been in the ministry for years and knew "everything" ... it is only as I come to the even ground and know that whatever I know or don't know is ok...because He is showing me.... through a very long but exciting process...that what I am appropriating through Him is all good and a process. This is slowly giving me a confidence in Him to question and determine what He alone is saying to me and showing me. That is all that really matters and that is Truth and Grace and Love extended from Him to myself and to others through all assortments of methods and vessels...even this one...even this one.

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Gotta admit we have some great dialogue. I like verbal communication over written on this stuff. Great topic - I like those in which some dialogue is generated.

keep on dancing!