I love explaining my faith to agnostics or anyone far away the church rhealm. It makes me reasses whats actaully going on inside of my heart, and then I can’t mask my reality in abstractions. Goodness, I despise abstractions.
The other day I went to a rather fire and brimstone service. At the end of the typical alter call “everyone close your eyes, if you don’t know Jesus… If you don’t know that you know that you know, raise your hands. No one will see you – this is between you and God….. Okay, now if you just raised your hand you have to come forward to the alter, I know who you are! If you don’t, Jesus will be ashamed of you in front of the Father.”
so after the alter call three very well intentioned people came to talk to us. We were wearing jeans so most likely we were bound for eternal damnation. The lady asked me, “so what did you think about the word tonight” transitioning into “do you know Jesus personally?” Luckily, I knew enough Christian lingo to persuade her…
“o yes, I have been walking with Jesus since I was a child… I work among international students here at the university, trying to minister to them and show them the love of the Lord. I go to Wesley, which is one of the biggest ministries on campus where I can fellowship with other followers of jesus…. blah blah blah blah blah.” =vomit.
success. she bought it. I had proved my christianess.
unfortunately, my friend Jessica was pounced upon by another lady. She failed the test. All she said was “Yes, i do.”The lady goes on, “are you sure? (insert very scary truths on eternity and the ladies personal testiomony in 3 minutes.)
I interrupted another lady in a floral skirt telling my iranian agnostic friend about how hot hell will be. We left that church in a hurry as the pastor yelled at the congregation not to leave the alter ’till we were sure of our eternal direction.
This scene is not to be a philosophical treastise on how to share the gospel, I was just laughed because Jessica had failed the test. I knew right away how to save myself from a litany on “how to be saved”, I had to prove myself with WORDS. Ironically, Jessica is the most genuine lover of Christ I had ever met. She came to know the Lord three years ago and (thank goodness) has not learned the lingo quite yet. I am reminded of Paul’s word through this moment,
“the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.”
So lately I have been thinking about some Christian phrases that drive me crazy, and others that I have accepted but never brought before the Lord. Many of them are in songs. I heard once that Christians don’t lie when they speak, but they lie when they sing.
This Wednesday at Wesley we sang…
“In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness you are there…. I want to know you. I want to hear your voice. I want to know you more.”
If there was one theme of February or maybe this entire year is; Jesus, what does it really mean that you are my Lover? Is that for real? Is this metaphorical and kinda of a vague concept – or can you really romance me? Like how do you want to do that? Not in the Captivated sense, in the (hopefully) more C.S. lewis Till We Have Faces sense =)
What are the details of this, how does this actually work?
Then I started thinking about the concept of the secret place. Where is this? I have always imagined that the secret place was really just a specific closet (or bathtub=), or place where you meet with your father on earth.
Lately, He has challenged this christian concept in my head.
I am slowly learning that my secret place is not on earth. Even better than Him visiting me down here, what if he brought me up there? What if my secret place was in the heavenlies, out of this reality and not bounded by our time?
Let me get past Captivated and all these saying about dancing with the lover of my soul.. let me experience this.
Lord, did you mean this to be a bigger reality than just a feeling that we get when we look at a sunrise?
Do you want to visit me at night? Should I light my lamp, waiting for you to return after you have prepared a PLACE for me.
A Secret place, maybe?
Can this reality happen sooner than later?
I think he took me up to my secret place on Thursday. All the abstractions and sayings and lingoes became real. All the phrases and song of soloman references became crazy real. So real, in fact, that I feel that I would be branded a heretic if I would tell you the details. Thats the reality of the Church today, I am afraid. You hold your Saviour at his word – and you become crazy like Heidi Baker, crazy like a lover of Jesus, crazy like John the Baptist.
Maybe thats why he wants it to be kept secret?
I don’t know. I would just dare everyone everywhere to challenge the lingo and phrases. Beg Him to make Himself a reality. He is true to his word, for His glory.
Cupid and Psyche