My next book should be out in a few weeks, but I don’t have a title yet. Anybody have some suggestions? Let me know! It will be on the subject of giving up our religious rites and giving up our legal rights for the sake of the gospel.
A blog reader sent in a story about how he and his wife are learning to be the church in his community. They were a bit disappointed with how their church handled a situation, and so took matters into their own hands to love others like Jesus. If you have a similar story, send it in!
My newest book, Church is More than Bodies, Bucks, and Bricks, is available for free download on Amazon through June 7, 2014. Go get it now! If you want, you can also get a free copy of the paperback edition. I just ask that you pay the printing and shipping costs.
The church is so afraid of sinning, we take no risks. We must step out and be willing to make mistakes for the Kingdom of God as we follow Jesus. I hope you take such great risks that people accuse you of sinning. Religious people were always accusing Jesus of sinning. So if religious people are not accusing you of sinning, you are probably not following Jesus.
By sticking with the church traditions of the past, we may be sinfully ignoring the new things that Jesus wants for today. So we must try something new. If we make a mistake, it is okay. Sinning in our attempts to follow Jesus are much less grave than sinning in our attempts to play it safe.
Large portions of what the Early Church said and did, came not from heavenly revelation, but from cultural emulation. We can copy culture today as well. We must not run from culture, but watch, observe, and learn from culture, believing that God is at work there just as He is at work in our own lives, and that the needs and issues of culture can be championed by the church.
While the Spirit blows on the hearts and minds of Christians, the Spirit also blows on the heart and minds of others in our culture. Though discernment is required, the church can get cues as to what God is doing in the world by watching and learning from our culture.
As the church seeks to follow Jesus into the world, one of the ways we can find guidance about where He is leading us is by looking to culture. The Holy Spirit is not only at work in Christians, but is also at work in the world. He is guiding history, governments, and even people who are the sworn enemies of God.
Faithfulness to following Jesus does not result in imitation, but in vibrant creativity, graceful flexibility, joyful diversity, and visionary imagination. There must be one focus, and one focus only: following Jesus in expanding the Kingdom of God in any and every direction, no matter where Jesus leads, and no matter how the mission looks.