the lower room


dealing with postmodern despair
January 20, 2006, 10:51 am
Filed under: general

The last post I made included the lyrics to Radiohead’s “Let Down” (amazon link). The first time I heard this song, I cried – both at the despair in the lyric, and at the glimmer of hope offered by the line, “one day, I am gonna grow wings…” Contrary to contemporary church thinking, living in a postmodern, post-Christian world is not all it’s cracked up to be. The neat, clean, be-a-good-boy-or-girl-and-you’ll-go-to-heaven-when-you-die worldview is gone. It’s been replaced with the despair of a thousand questions. Questions like, “If Christ preached and taught love, why do Christians hate non-Christians?” “If Paul taught grace, why are Christians so unforgiving?” “If God doesn’t delight in punishing the wicked, why do the ‘people of God’ support the death penatly?” “If Jesus demonstrated mercy, why are Christians often the first to condemn?”

These are the sorts of questions people are asking. I hear them all the time. I hear them in the subtext of mass-media. I hear them in the curricula of my children’s school. I hear them when I am shooting the breeze with my drunk neighbor. Some Christians would like me to believe that there are absolute answers to these questions – and that these answers are knowable by men. I have my doubts. These Christians say that all the answers lie between the leather of their Bible. That nothing worthwhile can be added. That Christ cannot be known outside The Text.

I challenge this assertion. I believe Jesus can be known both through scripture, and entirely without scripture. Everyday I become more and more keenly aware that the Kingdom of God will continue to decline in the hearts of men until Christians choose to step into the world and introduce their neighbors to Jesus. I believe that the first step in this revolution is for Christians to become like Christ. (love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength) The second step is for these newly formed Christ-followers to step into the lives of their neighbors. (love your neighbor as yourself) I believe that if Jesus is demonstrated – reflected through the mirror of our lives – He will draw men to himself. We won’t have to resort to legal arguments or scare tactics which only appeal to the mind and body. The spirit of Jesus – the Holy Spirit – will draw the spirits of men into communion with Him.

At the end of the day, it is a man’s spirit that longs for hope. It is his spirit that will grow wings.

I’d love to talk about this with you face to face. Please consider joining us in the lower room on March 5 at 5:00 p.m. It’s time we get started on our two-step program together.

eli renner

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1 Comment so far
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Count me in.

Comment by paul




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