Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jesus is my ticket to heaven

Started a new series at our church called "American Jesus." Talking about the cultural version of Jesus that exists (there are many more than one version, but we're exploring some of the basic characteristics of American Christianity).

This Sunday we're talking about the concept of a "Jesus" who gives us heaven through a prayer and one-time decision. Although I believe a decision must be made to follow Christ, and that this does happen in a moment in time, the Gospels demonstrate a Kingdom-theology that goes far beyond an easy prayer and a future reality (heaven). Jesus demonstrates a radical call to a PRESENT recognition of the Kingdom demonstrated through the LIVING OUT of our "belief" in Jesus. So there exists a tension between the "now" and "not yet" of the Kingdom. We tend to focus on the "not yet" of the Kingdom. While heaven does exists and I hope to be there someday, Jesus calls me to Kingdom-life NOW. And the Kingdom is demonstrated in living out the mission of Jesus. Love, peace, justice, etc.

The Church needs to move from a static view of salvation and the Kingdom to a process view. Where the Kingdom is worked out in every day life.

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