Sunday, October 03, 2004

Jesus Christ has been stolen...

Jim Wallis – changed the way I think. I read ‘Call to Conversion’ 20 years ago and I saw the world in a different way. Suddenly years of going to church came together. Suddenly I began to see the life of church as being as being so much more than just a Sunday singing type thing! Suddenly the fragmentation of the world seemed so much more acute. Suddenly I realised it was not enough just to sit back a gripe. Suddenly I was involved.

I don’t do conventions – I break into a sweat in mega-crowds, it does nothing for me. But Roots 2004 was a temptation a real temptation. Jim Wallis was on the speakers list. I’ve only just got round to listening to the teaching tape. Someone gave it to me with a shrug "shame really – I found him a bit dry…too political…perhaps his books are better…you can keep it"

Without a joke or a borrowed story or anecdote in sight - I was hooked as I drove.

"The trouble with the church is that Jesus Christ has been stolen from it – it’s time to get him back. Jesus today in the post Christian west is suffering a huge misrepresentation – he represents power, money and intolerance"

Looking at Deuteronomy 15:11 – he spends the next hour arguing that the church needs to realign itself to those who have lost hope. "We’ve lost our proximity to the poor – getting that sorted is the route to getting Jesus back". "What the church can offer is true hope…and hope is believing in spite of the evidence then watching the evidence change…"

Maggi asks…"What are the things that we should be pursuing?"

My fear? I'm not sure the church is that bothered. Sure we'll do the rhetoric, say the right words but I'm scared that we are too pre-occupied playing ‘mirror mirror on the wall’ to realise that Jesus has been stolen – despite good intentions rather than modelling an alternative the misrepresentation rumbles on.

"The trouble with the church is that Jesus Christ has been stolen from it – it’s time to get him back."

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