I finished reading, Blue Like Jazz today. The author, Donald Miller, seems to be more evidence that God is calling out a number of writers who desire Him deeply, yet whose perspectives on the faith are not in step with convention. These scribes are not heretics, nor self-righteous, nor in contempt of the church -- as God’s Word describes it. But therein lies their beef. They see little or no correlation between what Christ intended his church to be, and what it has become as an institution. Other authors like Erwin McManus, John Eldredge, and Phillip Yancy in particular, share the same ability to clear away some of the debris and challenge the ho-hum existence of institutional Christianity without castigating it.
For a number of years my own spiritual journey has been a struggle against the tension I feel, that something is terribly wrong in much of Christ’s church. I haven’t given up on the church, and I don’t believe Jesus has either. But during my sojourn I have looked desperately for, but have found very few examples, of God working supernaturally through His people—through me.
Making such statements illicit the defense by many, that the status quo is all that should be expected. I was reminded of this just two days ago as I talked along these lines to a friend back in the northeast. Toward the end of our conversation he said, Bill you are an adrenalin junky. I confess, that he is not the first to sum up my perspectives with a similar phrase.
I don’t agree with his summary of me, if it implies that I must constantly witness the miraculous or pursue the adventurous in order to believe there is something to faith. Not true. But I must tell you I do believe that we should anticipate seeing God disrupting and transforming lives. In my understanding of conversion, and according to the testimony of Scripture, neither will be absent when God shows up.
I think all of us long to hear of someone in the present day who, like David, when asked, “Why are you going to face the giant?” simply responded, “Is there not a cause?” In an instant, thousands of David’s peers saw God disrupt his life and transform him from a shepherd boy to a giant slayer. Sadly, it seems the converse is the desire of Christianity today—we turn giant slayers into shepherd boys.
What do we do with the faith records of such people as David and others? Are they examples for us, or exceptions of us? Would you agree there seem to be few cases of people being disrupted and then transformed, broken and then healed, emptied and then filled, and uprooted and then transplanted?
How about you? What have you seen? Take a few minutes to do an inventory and see how long your list is. Go ahead. Write them down.