Saturday, June 19, 2010

Going All In

The story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) says a lot about how we often approach the church today. It seems they wanted the form of Christian life without the function, the appearance without the reality, the community without the commitment. Like them, we want to participate, but we want to hold back. We want to give something, but we don't want to give everything. We don't want to be totally committed to Christ. We want Spirit and status, Christ and comfort, God and glory. We want to be sprinkled in his blood, not dunked in discipleship.

Being like Jesus is just too radical for most of us. We are grateful that he went to the cross for us, but we don't easily accept that his sacrifice for us is the example of how we are to sacrifice ourselves for others. I might be willing to put aside my own self-interest for the sake of my closest family and friends, but I'm not too enthusiastic about sacrificing my interests for the person who mistreats me or for a complete stranger.

Whenever I keep silent on issues of justice for appearances sake, I am standing in opposition to Christ. When I claim to be devoted, but put conditions on my generosity, I am not living a life of love for others. When I am committed to self-preservation, I strip Jesus' sacrifice of all its meaning for me. I can't just dip my toe in the Christian life. I'm either all in or all out. I can't have it both ways.

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