Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1 ESV)
You learn a lot about yourself when God has decided not to inspire you. I said the other day that I would have a doctrinal post in the next few days, but I can’t really come to a conclusion as to what I want to write about. There are so many things running through my head, but nothing is coming together in any coherent manner. I just have no inspiration. But I am learning that these are the times when God teaches us the most.
I am learning the importance of silence. Not outward silence, for that is nearly impossible to find when you live in the city. But inner silence. Inner peace. I have learned that, deep inside, I have a lot of noise. A lot of stuff bouncing around that makes it impossible for me to hear God clearly. I have found that, inside, I am broken. I need a Savior who will come in and put me back together.
I am learning that this Savior does not exist in most churches claiming the name of Jesus. I am learning that most of the time, Jesus is relegated to an afterthought to the programs and political agendas of those who claim to lead us. I am learning that I have had more than enough of this and that I think it is time for me to do something about this. I think it is time for me to be the change that I want to see in church leadership. But because of the noise, it is hard for me to hear clearly if this is God’s call on me or just my own pride taking control.
I am learning that I have a lot of pride. But God has started breaking that in me. I work as a valet now. This is one of the most thankless jobs anyone can do. I enjoy doing it, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t park cars for people who treat you like scum if you are overcome by pride. It doesn’t work.
I have come to the conclusion that Jesus is probably very unpleased with what we call “Christian art.” What are we thinking when we do some of the things that we do? Rob Bell puts this idea very nicely. He says,
This idea that Church waits to see what the culture is doing then produces a D grade version with some sort of clever Jesus twist to me is utter blasphemy. The DaVinci Code, for example. You wait for a C grade movie with stars with bad haircuts and then gear your church teachings around a movie that many people aren’t even going to see? That seems absolutely anemic…
I don’t believe in Christian art or music. The word Christian was originally a noun. A person, not an adjective. I believe in great art. If you are an artist, your job is to do great art and you don’t need to tack on the word Christian. It’s already great. God is the God of Creativity. Categories desecrate the art form. It’s either great art or it isn’t. Followers of Jesus should have the first word instead of coming late to the game with some poor quality spin-off.
(The Wittenburg Door)
I am learning that I want very little to do with the SBC right now. One blog says that the real issue with the denomination is the lack of Spiritual life. Another says that it’s the backstabbing and gossiping. Another points to what I believe is the big issue: clergy child sexual abuse. And, on all of these matters, the whole group is virtually silent. Especially on the last one. I don’t want anything to do with that. I know that there are God-fearing men and women in this group. And I know that God has used these people in mighty ways. But that doesn’t excuse the leadership’s and membership’s lack of concern over so many of the things that are wrong.
I am learning that maybe I need to be less critical of other Christians. I am not perfect either. And while it is my duty to judge my brothers (1 Corinthians 5:12-13), I still need to do so with humility and compassion.
I am learning that maybe I am a bit more inspired than I think I am. Just because I don’t have one focused topic to speak on does not mean that I am not inspired. God has the ability to say many things at once, and He does so a lot of the time. Maybe that is why we have such a hard time hearing Him. It’s not that He isn’t speaking, but that He is simply speaking very quickly and we just have to stop and reflect on everything that He has said and shown to us before we can realize what it is that He wants to teach us.