Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Jesus ultimate team mascot?

My reading in McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy goes on. Lots of challenging things there (challenging to wrestle with, not to understand). There are lots of directions that I could go seeing how I'm a third of the way through the book. He makes provocative points throughout. The thing I admire about McLaren's writing is that he always asks questions that everyone else sems to be afraid to ask. That is why so many evangelicals aren't too happy with him (see D.A. Carson's new book questioning the emergent movement titled something like Entering the Emergent Conversation).

I was taken by a metaphor that he used in discussing what it means to proclaim Jesus as lord. That is a powerful, powerful idea that we have largely lost because of our passive use of the term. It is actually a very foundational and life-changing statement to say, "Jesus is lord," but few of us change our lives following our confession.

Instead, McLaren asks if we have made Jesus out to be our mascot instead of our lord. That is moving and powerful. I wonder if I threw that idea out to alot of Christians how many would say, "Yeah . . . Jesus is the church's mascot, sounds like a winner to me. I think that's what he is supposed to be." Perhaps few would come right out and say that, but it is clear to me that many Christians live that way. "Rah! Rah! Jesus!" in the good times, but when things are tough, or when he asks for life changing decisions in life (changes that we aren't interested in) then we remind Jesus that he is only our mascot and really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

If we would only regain the "lordship" language - and not just the language but the reality. Jesus as lord of my life means that he is in control. What he says goes. What I want - well it doesn't really matter if it doesn't fall in line with what he wants. The best part about having Jesus as lord, however, is that what Jesus wants is really the best thing for me anyways. It may not look or seem that way, but if we believe the Bible and we believe that God is good, then Jesus as lord of our lives is the best thing. Let's move away from the shallow thinking that let's Jesus do handstands and cheers for the church, and let's allow him to move and breathe through the church and do wonderful and magnificent things.

Just a reminder to us all (we sang this Sunday night at an area-wide worship service)

He has done marvelous things.
Praise the Lord!

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