I want to challenge you to share.
I realize that opening the door to a subject matter like this can open a can of worms. It can also create quiet. Maybe no one will share at all. In this crazy internet world of blogging, debating, criticizing, and arguing, I cannot help but think that there is still hope to bring people to a common ground. A middle, if you will, between our opposing views. The middle ground, I believe, is found in Jesus Christ. We tend to argue and defend our views from behind theological viewpoints and denominational standards. I believe if we continue to do that we will find ourselves completely broken. We talk about “holy conversation”. Could there be anything more holy than to discuss what Jesus has done for you?
1 Peter 3:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
This year I celebrate 14 years of marriage to the mother of my children.
I remember clearly the night we first met. We had talked on the phone or internet for a week. I asked if she wanted to meet me. She said yes. I drove 2 1/2 hours to get there. (The journey is a story all for itself.) I showed up late. She graciously sat down for a sandwich with me on a park bench near her university’s pond. She was and her family were life long United Methodists. We made small talk as we began to size each other up. Then, out of nowhere, I simply popped the question. You know…I need to know.
“So, what do you think about Jesus?”
Mid bite into a turkey sandwich I had brought for her, she looked at me with those “Really?” eyes, swallowed and cleared her throat. I had caught her completely off guard “Well, that’s a pretty deep subject.” It is. I knew that it was. But, I really wanted to know. It was imperative to me. What I really sought to start was discussion. What too many of us want when we ask questions about God or Jesus is some definitive answer that we can hold up and say, “Here it is!” We might get to that, but only if we take the time to discuss first. We need to talk. We need to spend time with one another. In the case of my wife and I, as is the case with many a couple, opposites tend to attract. I’m one who jumps in neck deep. Whether it’s theological discussion or a evangelical trip, I’m there. She tends to be more reserved. She takes her time with things and thinks about for awhile. Drives me absolutely nuts. I feel like much of our diversity in the church happens along these same lines. The church is not made up of people who all think alike. All people do not learn the same. All people do not have the same experiences or life lessons to pull from. It is only when we take the time to tell our stories and talk about what Jesus has done for us that we begin to find our “middle ground”. Out here on the internet and in these blogs, we spend way too much time arguing about doctrine and grovelling about where orthodoxy begins. Orthodoxy begins with Jesus. What we understand about God begins with Jesus. I already realize that won’t clear much up for some. But, I am of firm belief that the person of Jesus Christ can help clear up our muddied waters. In our denomination. In our hearts. In our churches. We simply need to focus what we are doing upon him and not some outside cause. Whether that we are focused on some social cause or political. We human being tend to get our priorities out order. Here’s where we start getting it right. “Tell me the stories of Jesus”
SO, my challenge to you is this…
Tell me what you believe about Jesus. I’m willing to bet that if this post was about some political issue or some social cause, there would be debate or arguing instantly. I’ve seen it happen. Maybe no one will respond at all here. Either because you don’t have a story to share or you’ve never taken the time to think out what you believe about Jesus. Talk to me about what Jesus has done in your life. Toss out your bullet list of theological points you hold dear or think the church should hold dear and just talk to me. Who is Jesus to you? I want to know. Give me an account of the hope that lies within you. Why do you believe in Jesus? Why is that so important to you? What has Jesus done for you? Tell me your story of Jesus and why that gives you hope.