Thursday, July 14, 2011

Authentically Passionate - Organic Faith

Maybe this is one of my biggest concerns and passions in life...

I think when people find Jesus they find the greatest Treasure of all time. I think they ought to be radically overjoyed and overcome with awe, thankfulness and much more that can't even be put into words. I think that this genuine thrill of knowing and loving and serving Jesus ought to be so great that it spills out of them in life wherever they are. Not 24/7 necessarily because they still struggle and mess up and have hard times etc., but as a general rule of their lives, the people who know them should say they are amazingly grateful and overjoyed about Jesus.

Now if they genuinely have experienced the joy of knowing and being known by Jesus then they will want to obey his call to spread that 'good news' and joy around. They will desperately want their friends, family, co-workers and the whole world to know this Treasure that they have come to know.

I think this is what exploded 2000 years ago as the church. A group of people like I just described were so contagious that they grew and grew and grew. Not without it's problems or troubles but still and organic, authentically passionate thing called the church that was multiplying and spreading joy all over the place. "Filling the city (and the world) with their teachings."

Early Christianity spread so fast that it really impacted the whole known world at that time. So much so that as Christianity grew it, of necessity, became institutionalized, organized, programmed and slowly and imperceptibly, it lost it's organic nature, it became a machine instead of a plant. Sadly, this allowed it to become a religion made up of beliefs and practices instead of being a satisfying relationship with Jesus.

Of course, this isn't as clear as saying that organizing and programming bring death and we should work to destroy all organization. In fact, the places that I have seen that thrive, full of organic life and passion (including the church in the book of Acts) have plenty of organization and programming. But they don't allow it to become their reason for existence or to overshadow the true, real, authentic, relational side of things.

I long for church to be like what I see in the book of Acts in the early church. A church that is filled to overflowing because it's people are filled to overflowing with a genuine love for Jesus. A church that organizes and programs in order to facilitate more of this wonderful relationship with Jesus for us and for others.