Friday, January 19, 2007

Passion

Well it's a word that I have often used in the past when speaking but it really is such a crucial factor for the church and Christianity. Matt 6:21 talks about our treasure and where our heart is. Where our passion is, that's where we will put most of our effort and time, basically, that's what we'll worship.
So . . . what do we worship?
This is one of the hugest issues I see with the local Christian church today, authenticity and passion. For some reason other religions leave the local church for dead when it comes to passion, there are people who don't follow Jesus who are willing to die for what they believe. Often the general amount of passion that oozes out of the average Australian Christian is left for being bothered to get out of bed on a Sunday morning and singing a few songs, if you like singing that is.
So what does this mean for me as I ask myself if I'm passionate about a life with Jesus? Well, I have to say I am finding it really hard in the local church at the moment. I see the programs and people going through the motions of 'doing church' and I find myself really struggling to see the purpose of Sunday mornings.
I have to ask this question though, what exactly is a Christian?
If a Christian is someone who just goes to church on Sunday and serves the purpose of the Church alone then I would question whether or not they actually are a Christian.
I have come to believe that a Christian is someone who follows the authority, teaching, values, morals, life of Jesus Christ. Sorry, but I didn’t see Jesus in the NT just going to church every Sunday. Neither did He just hang out with those who followed Him or believed in Him, as a matter of fact none of those who followed Him to begin with were ‘Christians’. (might want to just let that soak in :) )
So, a Christian, as I have learned, believes that Jesus is the son of God (Yahweh) who came to us in human form. They believe that because of humankind’s inherited sin, Jesus paid for the penalty of that sin in dying on the cross. He proved then that he has conquered death by being raised from the dead and is coming back. A Christian then understands that they are made right, not by anything they can do but simply through Jesus’ forgiveness and the mighty mercy and grace that God has shown. Romans 9:10 says something like, if you believe this in your heart and then speak it out then you'll be saved. Simple as that! This is awesome! It is in this that my passion emerges!!
Now it’s important to be encouraged and to encourage and learn more with other Christians and that’s where church comes into things. However, if this becomes more important than following Jesus and being his messengers, then we start to lose the passion and the purpose of being a follower of Christ in the first place. Not only that, but we become irrelevant and religious, we lose the real meaning of following Jesus and when we lose that we lose our passion and when we lose that, then why would anyone else want to be a Christian?

The thing is I think we have been so programmed to be passionate in certain ways that we've lost what it means to be really authentic about our love for Jesus all the time.
Read this the other day by

  • Hamo
  • "I would gaurantee an institional church full of people radically devoted to Jesus will always be more impactful than a new expression where the Jesus factor is dispassionate."

    Like it!

    Passion?

    4 comments:

    Nickers said...

    Nice mate,
    I'm glad you added 'Australian' to your speel about the local church not being passionate.
    From being part of the local church overseas, there is no way they can be called un-passionate (if thats a word).
    So perhaps its got nothing to do with the local church, but more about the heart of the people, where there joy is and the struggles they go through. I know its been said numerous times before, have we got it too easy in Australia?!?
    As i jouney overseas once more i look forward to experiencing the joy of those who need Jesus to live. What an experience that is!!! Real passion!

    Glenn Munyard said...

    Actually I possibly could have used the word 'western'. It seems the same, in general again, in the US and UK from what I'm reading on other blogs. It's probably why many in the west love reading about the east and their passion for Jesus.
    Yeh, it's way more personal than sundays or church days. Unforunately though, the local church is the seen and known vehicle for Christianity, it's also, the training ground for most.

    Toby said...

    Yes, and Amen!

    Liz said...

    Hi Glenn,
    Genuinely agree with you!!
    I know that we talked about this subject somewhat in one of our dicussions... nicely put!
    Liz