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« Open Discussion: Blog-within-a-blog (the month of June) | Main | Young Fogies: Why are Evangelicals and Other Protestants Embracing Orthodoxy? »

June 07, 2006

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Hmmmm... Personally I think that being "in Christ" is a little to difficult. It's so much easier when I think of Jesus being in MY life. Cause that means he's blessing ME... MY car, MY surround sound, MY girlfriend.... and you know... I think religion should be about ME. *sarcasm*
No but seriously... I think the Church needs to get back to the "in Christ" mentality. That would totally help combat extreme individualism that’s running rampant in our culture. If we can't even0 do that, I think the Church deserves to die. We're supposed to be this awesome counter-cultural movement. Actually I kinda hope it does die. Die to ourselves so were forced to make real sacrifices again. We can't even go through our services without fueling OUR Starbucks caffeine addictions. A little selfless thinking would be a breath of fresh air in the stinky hospitals we call our Churches.

Heheh... Wow... I think this might be hitting a bit of a sore spot with me... =P

Brian, you're obviously resonating with our need to reorientate the way we convey what it means to be "Christian".

"Die to ourselves so were forced to make real sacrifices again. "

I'd like to hear more about this.

Blessings.

Chris,
Your comments resonate with me and my journey. Many years ago, I was "convicted" through a variety of experiences, studies, conversations, and so that I needed to "sign off" with the words "In Christ." A large part of this has to do with being a recovered alcoholic so that through my daily "conscience contacts with God" (step 11), I am seeking to be in Christ's life. I am seeking to live his life (following Jesus). I am seeking to be in his Way (interesting double meaning--take it how you want).

Additionally the sign off is a reminder that I am "in (the body of) Christ." Thus this adds another dimension of koinonia to my identification.

I guess it resembles the practice of signing off public prayers by "praying in the name of Jesus" (which is also a common ritualistic practice of mine). Each time I can choose to cruise through it on automatic pilot or I can intentionally seek to remind myself of the significance of the action including where God has brought me from, where we are in this journey, and where God is leading us.

I look forward to hearing from others. I'm sure that it will help broaden and deepen my understanding here. Just maybe some of Chris' "maybes" might actually become "truly, truly's."

In Christ,
Mark

I am seeking to be in his Way (interesting double meaning--take it how you want).

Have you seen the CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams) logo? It's a pair of sandaled feet with Getting in the Way written over the top.

Good post, Chris.

I think figuring out as best we can what Paul's hearers would have understood is the first step. This is the tremendous service that NT Wright and others have given the church in these last 20-30 years. Recovering the Jewish framework and ideas about being in the Messiah expands the richness of it.

I love the big picture!

Dana

"This is the tremendous service that NT Wright and others have given the church in these last 20-30 years. Recovering the Jewish framework and ideas about being in the Messiah expands the richness of it."

Yes, it certainly does. Kind of reminds me of that ancient rabbinical saying: "may you be covered in the dust of your rabbi."

Good thoughts here. It makes me think sometimes we try to convert Jesus to be an American rather than us converting to Christianity. If Christ is in me than I am an American Christian, which seems to be a paradox these days, or I leave my rights of citizenship behind and become a Christian. I don't have to think to long to know which is the easiest route to take.

Chris,

By the way, I put a post on my blog dealing with a section of Rev. 9, would love to hear your thoughts.

such a broad paint brush. it is always interesting to me when folk go on about the asking Jesus into your heart, as if there is no biblical warrant for the language.

Romans 10:9 & 10 says:

(Rom 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Not to mention these words of Jesus in Revelation:

(Rev 3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Salvation the door to life, is not just individualistic, nor is it just corporate. It must be both. In John 3 with Nicodemus and John 4 with the Samaratin Woman the words were to the Individual:

"You must be born from above" "when he comes he will tell us all things -- I am he"

I also think, that pretty quickly the early church understood just who Jesus was and claimed to be. They would be infinitely more familar with the Isaiah prophecies and just who it was the 'voice in the wilderness' was proclaiming. That Jesus was not 'just' a man, but God in whom we 'live and move and have our being'.

Salvation, like all else in the Kingdom works if you have the eschatological tension of the Kingdom now - but not yet.

Jesus Saves Individuals and Saved individuals need each other - the Body of Christ - to do the work of the Kingdom and to grow into the likeness of Christ.

I'shalom - God's peace

Seraphim

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