Sunday, May 30, 2010

Confessions on Being Relevant

This was written on May 30th of 2009.  I don't know why I never published it; it's weighted, it's true.


Once upon a time, I prostituted my worship.

The covenant with God requires a full heart and no other idols.  But once upon a time, I chose to share the devotion of my heart with the world - no, not just the world.  I chose to take the gaze of my eyes off of my God to look at the expectations of man-pleasing churches.  I chose to verify my actions with second, third, fourth parties, instead of acting on behalf of His Word alone.

In the first decade of this century, a rising body of young adult believers began demanding "We need to tone down our Gospel." This popular trend declared that the zeal of the evangelistic church has damaged the name of Christianity, and that Christians nowadays need to be quiet and relevant and unitarian in order to reach this generation. So, I chose to take up the bitter and judgmental ranting sessions with fellow Christians, rather than unwaveringly boast about the Love and Truth laid out in black and white.

Once upon a time, I chose to be a relevant Christian.

I did not want people [aka, the Christian friends that I have / the people I know] to bash me for being radical, for being a Jesus freak, for being so forward with the Truth. Surely, to openly talk about loving Jesus, to bring out my Bible and read verses amidst a casual coffeehouse chillout, to suggest we stop what we are doing to pray and worship - this steps on people's toes. Oddly enough, doing this in front of a lot of other Christians makes them feel awkward.

I became a part of the relevant church because I did not want to be opposed. I wanted to stay liked. I wanted to be on everyone's good side.

But watering down my beliefs only made me unstable. And what good did I personally do to help the harvest by being a relevant Christian? Honestly? Did I bring people to the saving Love of Jesus by being relevant? No! The only thing that being a relevant Christian did was justify my lifestyle. It made it okay for me to indulge in the pleasures that the rest of society does. It made it acceptable for me to saturate myself into culture and all the glorified idols of self and infidelity and aesthetics. I did not expand the Kingdom by being relevant. It only made me able to stand beside the world, and look no different.

In the end, what will matter is the fruit. Do we pick our church because it will take us where we want to go, or are we really surrendered to where He wants us to go? Does what we do bear fruit?

I didn't bear any fruit. I wasn't a vessel that caused anybody to want to yearn for Christ. In fact, I didn't even bear fruit that edified myself. I was just another humanist with a God I could call on whenever I needed a boost. I wasn't sold out to Him. I didn't surrender everything, I didn't say He could have it all. Maybe He had my heart, but He didn't have my mind. He had my Sunday but He didn't have my Friday night. He had my closet prayer but He didn't have my sidewalk conversations. He had my journal entries but He didn't have my spoken words. He was my resting, but He wasn't in my dreaming. He had my communion, but not my covenant. He was my breathing, but He wasn't my living. He was my song, but He wasn't my worship. He was an idol, He was not my God.

My life is different now. I am in a relentless pursuit of Him. And it will cost me. If He took away my talent, my hands, my sight, my voice.. If He took away the people who are closest to my heart, if He asked me to stay single, if He told me to do the most radical things in the world, if He told me to love my neighbor, if He told me to say sorry, or even to forgive... these are all costly.  Like David said, I will not offer something to God that didn't cost me anything. This is going to cost me. But I am ready, and I am willing.

I am purging my life - not because of religious demand, but as a freewill offering to God..
"This is no sacrifice, here's my life."

I will never be the same.
I'm finally going to speak aloud.


currently watching: "Babel"

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