<![CDATA[Jesus often violated turf rules. He engaged enemies. He loved them. We draw lines. We create boundaries. We are thoroughbreds. Others are mutts. We can't live without our rigid social rankings. But Jesus was willing to break societal rules. He gave without expecting a return. He invited but never coerced. His obedience and love mock our social boxes. He was willing to embrace the towel. He chose compassion over personal ambition. [caption id="attachment_1626" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The American Way vs. The Way, The Truth, & The Life (montage: J Fowler)"][/caption] What social boxes are keeping you from serving the kingdom? What kind of turf rules would you be willing to break? To what extent does personal ambition drive you? How specifically are you pursuing kingdom principles? My 10-day trip to the Middle East starts tomorrow. It will be a test for me in many ways. It is another opportunity to focus on the meaning of the cross and discipleship. No hocus-pocus involved here. It’s just a call to walk in the way of Jesus. When I was a teenager I thought this meant going barefooted and having long hair. Today I’m finding that the call to discipleship is more expensive. It demands that I turn a deaf ear to the seductive force of materialism and the “American Way.” Perhaps the main question is this: What is my passion in life? Am I willing to defy the pull of upward mobility? Can I serve the Lord in places where most U.S. citizens would consider unreachable? Am I ready to use my position and talents to advance God’s agenda in this world? The fact is, I care deeply about my own comfort. Jesus shocks me. He was an upside-down Messiah. We tried to imitate Him in the 1960s, but the Jesus Movement was often a sad parody. I want to do better today. Jesus is inviting us to join the movement. The Scriptures are clear. We’re asked to sell and give all, to serve, to go; to endure suffering without complaint or bitterness; to demonstrate that the towel is greater than the sword. Are we truly willing to devote our energies to embrace the service of this Jesus? Even as Americans? We are called to salute a new King. His kingdom transcends human boundaries. We pledge allegiance to the Lamb and Him alone. We pray, “Your kingdom come.” What difference would it make in your life if you viewed the kingdom of God in this way? What does it mean to be a revolutionary for Jesus? Is it really possible to eradicate the boxes we put people in, including our so-called “enemies”? In what ways can we become truly counter-cultural? I do not have the answers to these questions. But they will be on my mind as I wing my way to a faraway desert. May God help us all become kingdom Christians and turn a deaf ear to the sinful world that seduces us into thinking that the “Good Life” is what it’s all about. [Source: Dave Black Online – Thank you Dave!]]]>
Turning a Deaf Ear to the 'American Way'
by David Alan Black | Sep 28, 2010 | Features, Life In The Spirit, Society and Culture | 5 comments
Inspiring and moving questions! Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks for this marvelous post. I’m preaching tomorrow on the subject of Jesus’ way of inviting as the paradigm for how we’re to embody the gospel. It’s so different than the confrontational models that prevail. I just wrote about this, as well, on my blog, as I pondered the relationship of American Christians to politics.
Best wishes as you travel. May you gain continued revelation regarding the way of Christ.
Thanks for the response Richard. Check out Dave’s further adventures and ruminations here: http://daveblackonline.com/
This is a topic that has been changing my life over the past couple of years. You are right on–His Kingdom is upside down and backwards and completely against the status quo of the American Dream.
But it is worth it. It’s such an adventure to step out of my comfort zone and defy social convention when I follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.
Keep speaking Truth 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Lori, thanks for the response. I think many of us are on the same journey- me included. Keep following Him!