Over at IMonk, Jeff Dunn is doing a bit of ranting and raving, and really, I don't blame him. As I have been studying the Gospel of Luke, I have become more and more convicted that I don't really follow Christ as he calls me to, and more than that, I for the most part do not see the church, at least here in America following him as he calls us either.
One of the things that I see relates to what Dunn is preaching against is the substitute of technique for obedience to our Lord. It is the easy road and one that suits our society perfectly. We are a technique oriented people. It is how we live. It is how we control. It is also the opposite of faith.
Have issues with money? Well, my goodness, don't give it away and be overly generous out of love for God and man. Disregard the widow and her two mites. What a fool she was to not put at least 10% away in savings. Jesus only meant for the rich, young ruler to give everything away, not anyone else. He wouldn't ask that of you or me. Look at all the Old Testament writings that encourage savings and thrift. Just don't bother reading the prophets and of God's judgement because of not helping the poor and widows. We're not greedy like those Israelites. And don't get all excited about how the earliest church shared everything they had with one another. That would be too radical and was only for that time and place anyway. God wouldn't ask that of us. Instead, follow this formula and watch your money grow!
Having marriage problems? It has nothing to do with dying to self and submitting to one another out of love for Christ. Nooooo. It is really because the husband isn't being respected or the woman isn't being loved, or you just aren't having enough date nights, or you haven't set up the right boundaries, or you don't speak the other's love language, or, well you get the idea.
What if we really died to self and lived to Christ? What if we gave so generously that none of our brothers and sisters in Christ were in need? What if we sacrificed our comfort that the poorest in our community knew they didn't have to worry about their daily needs, because Christ's representatives lived near them and wouldn't let them be in want? What if instead of worrying about being taken advantage of, we simply said, "Come."?
What would our marriages and families look like if we consistently put the other first? What if we stopped worrying about our needs being met and instead sought out ways to serve the other?
Do we take Jesus words seriously? Do we really believe them? I must not, because I do not follow them. I cannot, because I do not daily take up my cross. This is what Peter Kreeft calls moral insanity. It is what Jesus says leads to death. It is sin.
I am morally insane. Jesus, come heal me. I do not take up my cross. Jesus, help me bear the burden. I do not trust the one who gives life. Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief.