Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cynicism and the Transformation of Others

A brief warning shot across the bow of all of us cynical types (me, the guiltiest of all - and that's no humblebrag).

It can certainly sound prophetic to speak, rail, fuss, preach, teach, declare, or narrate against emotional experiences in the Christian life and how they don't make up the commitment that Christ requires.  I will say from the outset that if you say such things, you're absolutely right.  But that's not the whole picture.

It's true that some "Christians" (whether or not they truly are is, at best, a guess of mine and certainly not a definitive statement) live like Tarzan, swinging from vine to vine.  In modern Christianity, they go from one experience (conference, camp, DNow, retreat, getaway, worship experience) to the next and live on the momentum provided by those things.  When the momentum runs out, they must quickly jump on the next vine to keep making "progress."  Again, whether or not they are is a question of the fruit of their lives.

But to throw out the baby with the bathwater is silly.  God has used and still uses and probably will use in the future experiences to shape and form us.  Indeed, the God we encounter in worship has ordained that worship to be a transforming force in our lives.  Yes, it might not be God we're worshipping but instead our emotions or desire for experience.  True.  But it might be.  And if it is, God changes the worshipper.

I've written an earlier blog about how the affections of the soul can promote the allegiance of the heart.  It is true.  We don't need to be cynical about it.  We can (and should!) rejoice in it and challenge people to bear fruit from it.

And always help those who are weak and in doubt, showing mercy without fear, snatching them out of the fire (Jude 23).

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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