By April Terry (http://faithwarming.blogspot.com)
Some people don’t like musicals. They see the interruption of a song as odd within the context of the story line. As a lover of music of all kinds, I see music as an exclamation point to the emotion of the story. It helps me better feel and sense the emotion of the overreaching story. The bible is like that, in a way. It’s a series of stories about people who have struggled just like we have, and through the stories of the struggles of those people there is a bigger story—the story of loving God and one another. From an outsider’s viewpoint, it must feel like the overall message is a long list of do’s and don’ts.
To those outside the faith, the story that the bible tells can seem like anything but a love story. Instead, it comes off like a list of condemnations, rules, regulations, and wrathful judgments as we try to impose our faith on the greater society that surrounds us. We Christians have become proficient at standing against the evils of society, but inadequate at illustrating what Christ Himself was able to reduce faith down to, which is to love God and to love our
neighbors as ourselves.
It is true that if we could conquer those two ideologies, loving God and our neighbors, the rest of the list would be unnecessary. This is because loving God means that we desire to serve Him, and to love God with our whole heart and mind means that we are willing to live a new way. Likewise, loving your neighbor as yourself is no small feat, either. To love a neighbor, friend, or anyone, to that degree is to make ourselves at least tied for second place (God being first, of course). That kind of commitment to love is the part of the message that we sometimes forget to send out into the world.
It’s an easy mistake to make. We shake our heads at the sins that we see spread across the continent, and we get angry at the blatant disregard for faith. Then, we get militant at the idea that someone might take away our right to our faith, and the next thing we know we are fighting for an idea instead of for love. That’s how we overlook the emotion and beauty of God’s Story.
Lately, the list of rules and regulations has gotten louder, but we should understand that the world’s darkness is merely a believer’s opportunity. We can’t shout down the darkness, but we can respond with love to the consequences of it. With love, we write ourselves into the story that Christ started on the cross. By doing so, we accept that the world lives by a second set of rules, but that we have chosen another way. That other way is not to eradicate philosophies by legislation or force, but instead to be a contagion of love that infects the world from the inside out.
Jesus was a radical, but he was radically peaceful. His message was radical because His message appears to the world to come from a place of weakness, but it was never weak. The message of radical love was a position of strength and it always will be. Any efforts we might take to enforce our faith on the world is a worldly methodology, inherently flawed, and may never be successful because of that. Love, on the other hand, is a strong position and it tells a story of a faith which people are willing to give their lives for. This is the musical emotional subtext that has been overlooked in today’s Christianity and that, as believer’s in love, we should be struggling to express so that God’s story is punctuated by love and not by legalism.
January 28th, 2013 · No Comments
Categories: DE Thoughts