Interest in growing?

Peterson mentions a woman who lived a life outside of Christ for many years. She became a Christian when visiting a church. And then she knew something had to be different, no longer the life of alcohol, drugs, and sex. But she didn’t know anything about living.Serving at the feet of Jesus Peterson continues:

But do you know what she found most difficult? American churches. Not that she wasn’t welcomed. She was. She was something of a prize, a “brand plucked from the burning”—a Christian! But she also found that these American churches seemed to know everything about being born in Jesus’ name but seemed neither interested nor competent in matters of growing into the “measure of the full stature of Christ.”

She looked around her and saw that her new friends were doing the same thing she had done earlier, only not so obviously. These churches seemed to her to be full of ideas and projects that they used as she had once used alcohol, drugs, and sex—to avoid God, to avoid being present in life, being present to neighbor. They were doing everything religious except following Jesus.…She was alarmed by the parallels to her former life and determined to live more sanely as a Christian than she had as a pagan. (pp. 4–5, Practice Resurrection)

Now that is an indictment! This is a challenge for every Christian, as well pastors and leaders. These questions will help us in our study of Ephesians.

Do we even see the parallels she mentions? Are we running around busy with church activities so that we avoid what it means to follow Christ? Have we looked for short term goals rather than long term maturity in Christ?

Scott Bennett wrote on his blog this past week:

“I don’t have to have 5 million Followers or Fans to make a difference. I can invest deeper in those right around me, and let the breadth take care of itself.”

I think he has caught something of this maturing in Christ.

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About exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian
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6 Responses to Interest in growing?

  1. Pr. David Johnson says:

    Great observations about how easy it is to avoid real discipleship, real following Jesus in word and deed as He sends us to those who need Him and that’s everyone.

    • exegete77 says:

      Howdy, David. Thanks for reading and commenting. Avoid becomes an “attribute” and passes from one generation to the next.

  2. Interesting, very much so.
    I agree that projects and busy-ness can easily distract us from the important things, and it is always tempting to do those things rather than to obey Christ, HERE.To love with his love, HERE.

    curious to hear what this “more sane” lifestyle looks like 🙂

    • exegete77 says:

      Howdy, Emily. I think part of the temptation/attraction is those activities allow us to set goals and measure ‘progress,” in the business sense.

      Perhaps “more sane lifestyle” reflects the balance of the life in Christ (the theme of Ephesians). However, with six kids under 10, I’m not sure “more sane lifestyle” can be applied to you! 😀

  3. Craig Henningfield says:

    Two reflections come to mind. The first deals with what some call the subtle shift from “Christendom” to “churchdom,” the shift away from the pursuit of motivating and mentoring God’s children to the “measure of the full stature of Christ.” We all live in and are influenced by a culture that has moved relationships from a more “give/receive” foundation to a more “buy/sell” mentality. Pursuing the program allows a greater sense of control.

    Second, just a personal reflection, is the movement away from images such as “balance” toward the images of “equlibrium.” “Balance” happens when we find a way to have enough “good” on the one side to counter-balance the “bad” on the other. I.e. we can still be in “balance” even while retaining the “bad.” To me, “equilibrium” retains more of the tension that bears upon the sinner/saint in daily living. The tension is not between the “good/bad;” it is between “Christ/Christian.”

    • exegete77 says:

      Thanks, Craig. Interesting, when I used the word “balance” I wasn’t think between good and bad. Rather between the various aspects of all on the good (“in Christ”). For instance, in Ephesians 4, Paul presents a balance between the body of Christ (4:1-16), and the individual Christian in that relationship (4:17-32). If either of these is distorted then, the Christian loses that which God intends for both the body and the individual (the life of the body and the life of the church are both unbalanced).

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