THE COMFORTABLE LIE.
Rev. Ed Schneider, MPTh (2018)
Many years ago, actually it feels almost a lifetime from this moment, I challenged a local congregation through a sermon entitled: A Lazy Christian Does Not Exist. The premise of that message rested on the idea that once a genuine salvational moment occurs, a Christian begins a journey of faith, that by its very definition, ignites the believer to do, to reach, to transform into what God is calling them to be. This journey may be many things, but static isn’t one of them.
Now later in my life of service to glorifying the understanding of who and what God may be, it occurs to me a new sermon is boiling up inside me during this Easter season. Not unlike the 30 year old message, with its challenges regarding the impossibility of a “lazy” Christian existing, I am confident the same can be proclaimed concerning the disastrous acceptance of a “comfortable” Christian.
In my mind, the quickest way to stall a Christian’s journey into the fullness of God’s grace is to become comfortable with the journey itself. If that wasn’t saddening enough for me to awakening to it is remarkably insidious when an individual believer, a local congregation or the larger denomination it may be connected to, intentionally strive for the fictional land mine of being comfortable.
Every significant display of biblical Christianity tangibly demonstrates the requirement of discomfort. True Christianity is the essence of struggle, heartache and intense personal challenge. The only comfort described in our collective journey of faith is the Divine promise of ultimate comfort AFTER the earthly transformational experience is completed.
There is a concrete cost of following Christ. If Jesus had to pay a price, so do we. If…
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James, Timothy, Stephen, Andrew, Bartholomew, Thomas, Jude, Matthias, Simon, Polycarp, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Anne Askew, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Esther John, Bernard Mizeki, Robert Stewart, Jaques Hamel, and Annalena Tonelli, had to pay a martyr’s price following their connection to Jesus, then in some capacity so do we. Christians not only vow a foundational connection to Christ they also commit to tangible expressions and witnessing of the “Cause of Christ.”
Authentic Christians commit to growing personally. We commit to grow together as a collective body. Faithful followers of “The Way” of Christ commit to growing each Church, each disciple, each musical ministry, Christian education initiative and any other ministry opened in the name of Jesus. This commitment includes, and will always include, our time, our energy, our money, our prayers and our open, public and bold witness. We are to be both the figurative and literal “hands and feet” of Jesus Christ. It is not a goal. It is not merely a requirement. It is an unstoppable outpouring of a transformed connection to the Creator of all that is known and unknown.
So, the LAZY Christian should not or in my opinion cannot exist when the Divine process of regeneration has Distinctly infested into the heart and mind of the believer. It is also true that the idea of any maturing Christian expecting to traveling a COMFORTABLE road of kingdom service is a foolishly ignorant understanding of their own spiritual health and the very concept of authentic Christianity.
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