Archives For lies

If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you would have seen a recurring motif: that coming to Christ doesn’t necessarily make our lives better. Or that he even came to make this life better.

There is a prevailing wind of teaching–call it TBNinanity, BestLifeNowianity,  blab-it-grab-it-name-it-claim-it the 1st Church of the Bank of Heaven God’s blank checkianity–which has mass consumer appeal (especially) here in the United States. Point is, people like it when they’re told what they want to hear.

Or that they can tell God what they want, and He has to do it.

I don’t know about you, but my faith walk has never quite worked that way. I make my requests, but Father knows best. Plus a careful reading of scripture seems to bear out the notion that God’s favorites (if we may term them such) were the ones who suffered the most. Nobody likes pain, right? I don’t. Thus it is that a Christianity promising wealth and a life of health has great mass appeal.

The problem is that it’s just not true. I mean if God didn’t spare his own son, what should we reasonably expect? Look at Abraham: being called out, burying his father, burying Sarah, receiving a promise–but not its fulfillment. The Bible is replete with such stories. What I want is your story: how the world, the flesh, the devil, the prevailing wind of doctrine sold you a bill of goods–promised you a better life… When in reality God instead gave you a new life. How he didn’t in fact come make your life better, but rather to give you a better life. I want the honest account of how the rubber of your expecations met the road of life.

Please send your story to:

Chad Jones

My purpsoe here is to counteract the myth that coming to Christ makes everyhting better.

Recently, I wrote a post entitled Jesus Didn’t Come to Make Your Life Better. As I’ve meditated upon this, I’m more and more convinced that it’s true: Jesus didn’t to make our lives better; rather he died to give us better lives. The distinction is far more than semantic; in fact, there lay a vast gulf between the two. In the one, the expectation is simply to improve upon the existing, e.g. make life better. In the other, well, it’s something else entirely, e.g., a new life.

Jesus didn’t come to improve the exisitng life, as if to renovate it. Rather, He came to tear it down and build something else–something better–in its place. So let us stop with the pandering nonsense of having our best lives now. Jesus came to resurrect the walking dead, but only those who know they’re dead can be raised. In simple point of fact, and in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “when Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.” There is no improving death. A corpse may appear animate, but is no less dead. This is a paradigm shift of monumental proportions.

It means we die:

To oursleves

To everything we hold dear

To what itching ears want to hear

To self-actualization

To the life we’re trying to build

To all the ways and means of trying to make it day to day which have never quite worked.

In short, we must die to the notion that Jesus came to make this life better, embrace death, and let him raise us into the better life he’s promised.

It’s not easy–far from it. “Consider the cost,” Jesus said. Have you?

If you believe this is true, that a paradigm shift is needed, will you join me in a community project to write it down for posterity? If you’re tired of the lies, of the easy believism, of trying to animate the corpse of a dead life, will you consider sharing the story of your life with me here? Who knows, this may grow into a movement.

The world needs your voice.

'girl with braids' photo (c) 2008, dmarklaing - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

She was always there. When life got hard, she was there with open arms, and a warm smile. She understood me, knew everything about me, and never turned me away.

She was always there. Down through the years, over the highways and byways, she never let me down. There was solace at her bosom, and a great warmth in her heart. To be near her was to know life.

She was always there. Oh, her visage changed over the course of years, but that was to be expected, right? No one stands immune to ravages of time… Except her. She was somehow perpetually youthful.

She was always there for me. Until it was time to be free.

Her name was not “grandma,” or “mom, ” or even “wife.”

No, her name was pornography, and she lied to me.

Even so: she never made me look. I was the mook who let himself be carried away by her Siren song.

She was always there, until I understood that she was never there at all.

Who, or what, has always been there for you? Have you sought solace in places, or things, you shouldn’t have?

Liar’s Lullaby

randomlychad  —  August 16, 2012 — 3 Comments

The world, the flesh, and the devil sing their siren songs–with only one goal in mind: to lull us to sleep. We want to be comfortable, and forget: this is a world at war, and we inhabit enemy-occupied territory. Else why do the Scriptures call our adversary “the god of this world?”

Yes, Jesus is sovereign, but we don’t yet see all under his feet.

We want comfort in wartime, and demand rest. And carp and complain when we get a soldier’s rest: we sleep where and when we can, tree roots, dirt clods, and stones poking us in the back.

Yet, the Liar’s Lullaby sings on in unholy 3-part harmony–with one goal in mind: to make us forget. And in the forgetting, sleep.

Only to be rudely awakened from our dreams by harsh reality:

God must often allow the gaping wounds to wake us up, to rouse us from our stupor. Because we have been lulled to sleep again, and He had no other way to get our attention.

The world is the wool so often pulled over our eyes.

How has this been true in your life? How is the Liar’s Lullaby singing to you today? Can you hear its beautiful, terrible strains?

'Let's be friends with benefits' photo (c) 2011, Sarah K - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

C.S. Lewis said it well when he said that “love is pain.” This is so because love involves risk–the risk of putting one’s heart out there… only to have it stomped on.

Again and again throughout life.

The temptation here is to–like Montresor in Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado–wall one’s heart off, thereby insulating it from risk.

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