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November 18, 2010

“He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that in all things He (Jesus) may be supreme.” (Col. 1:18). 

No other idea can even approach the level of importance than the thought that Jesus is supreme.  This must be our mantra.  This must be our rallying cry.  This must be our guiding template. 

I’m tired of religious gimmicks.  I am weary with quasi-Christianity that looks moral and righteous but relegates Jesus to merely one of the important topics of the day.  I don’t want to preach or hear another sermon on “issues” that does not include a heavy dose of Jesus.  I don’t have faith in politics to save our world.  Improving social contexts without Jesus is nothing more than putting perfume on a pig.  I don’t have faith in religion or denominations.  Morality without Jesus is a grave. 

Our only hope is that the church would become intensely devoted to the person, teachings, and example of Jesus Christ.  This will demand that we stop consuming Jesus for our benefits and begin to be consumed by Him.  Doctrines and creeds concerning the divinity of Jesus are a waste of ink if we do not establish His supremacy by organizing ourselves around His mission and philosophy.   It is only the group of people who have given themselves over to the imitation of Jesus, including His love for enemies and voluntary death, that truly recognizes His supremacy.  It will not be enough to pluck out a few moral teachings from the Gospels.  We will have to be captured by His spirit and embrace His philosophy, as unnatural as it is to us.  This is what it means for Him to be “head of the body.” 

Christology determines ecclesiology and missiology.  This is how Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch put it in their book ReJesus.  Let me translate that for you.  Christology is our beliefs about Jesus; ecclesiology is what we believe about the church, and missiology is what we believe about our mission.  In other words, the teaching and example of Jesus Christ should determine the nature of church and its mission.  Tradition should not.  Culture should not.  Preference should not.  Results should not. 

Jesus is the template for the church.  This means that we have to begin asking whether or not the corporate church resembles Jesus.  Do our buildings, budgets, programs, staff, outreach, charity, fellowship and discipleship find congruence with the heart of our Lord and Savior?  Christ following is not just for individuals.  We are the body of Christ and He is the Head!

Lost people like Jesus.  They don’t like church.

Broken people were drawn to Jesus.  They are generally repelled from church.

Something is wrong.

The modern church has developed a great deal of its culture around things that have little or nothing to do with Jesus.  Many of these things have become sacred in churches.  Where does this leave Jesus?

So the question for us is this:  “Is this ancient, homeless, Jewish man who lived in poverty and died on purpose really the supreme being in the universe, the revelation of the heart of God, and the example of what human life is intended to be?  Is He really supreme?’

If the answer is “yes,” then let’s return to Him.  Let’s recapture His wild spirit and untamed love.  Let’s listen to His ways that are counter to our natural logic.  Let’s embrace His sacrifice and generosity and make it our own.  Let’s no longer soften His calling.  Let’s take an archeological dig through the 2000 years of tradition built by the organization of Christianity and once again discover the heart of our founder.  It is there that we will find an unquenching fire that will blaze once again in our kingdom revolution.


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