infinite-fela asked a question:
Hello pastor … Gonna ask you something. How am I supposed to react on this: I’ve been reading the book Crazy Love of Francis Chan, it’s about loving God for real-walking the talk, and I am really moved on it. I want to do the same. I think about things I need to do for Jesus then I feel good about it then when I re-think about it again, I feel like not doing it because it’s hard and I feel so bad about it.
Hey my dear friend, I must first confess that I’m a Francis Chan fanboy for life. He was one of the first pastors I ever really got into, and I absolutely love his preaching and his heart for Jesus. He’s the real deal. He also has a heartbreaking testimony, and I admire his continual ministry for the poor and to alleviate poverty and hunger. If you didn’t know, he helped to start up Children’s Hunger Fund and also gave away his entire two million dollars of royalties from book sales to charity. And perhaps his most famous sermon continues to impact how I live today. [Warning: That sermon could ruin your life.]
His book Crazy Love was pretty good, but I personally think his book Forgotten God is still his best work, and possibly could’ve sold more if it had a more appealing title. It was one of those books in my faith-journey that actually helped me to break my fifteen year porn addiction.
The one thing with Francis Chan, and other similar pastors, is that they’re speaking to a lukewarm audience of halfway Christians. He is speaking to those that call themselves Christians but really only have the name-tag. So the intent of his preaching and writing is for a convicting gut-check to the lukewarm.
In that sense, if you come from a very legalistic church that crippled you with moralistic anxiety, then a “gut-check” is not for you. A Christian who tend towards legalism needs the uncomfortable, unsettling, reckless grace of God. If you’re a person who’s constantly worried that you’re not doing enough or not “productive,” then I would be very careful to take too much of this kind of medicine.
We all have two extremes.
Continue reading “How Can I Be “Radical” And Have A “Crazy Love” Kind of Faith?”
We’re not surprised anymore when a famous preacher who blasts homosexuality gets caught in a homosexual affair doing meth. A governor who pursues ethics in Wall Street is busted for carousing with prostitutes. An actor turned governor turned actor hides a secret child outside his marriage for ten years, fully realizing his role as an actor. We’ve learned that Nazi doctors who ordered the deaths of countless people were also fathers and husbands, a phenomenon later coined “doubling.” At least a third of pastors are addicted to pornography. And half of Christian men are in the same boat.
Once you claim a standard, you’re claimed by that standard.
Even the reckless prodigal or the pseudo-reasonable atheist has claimed categories of superiority. They both sneer at the religious right. The only difference is a Christian works from a deficit: he is expected to be impeccably polite while an atheist lacks all accountability and likes it that way. The atheist has infinite loopholes when he falls — especially when he falls — while the Christian is ready to be hanged at any second for a single outburst.
It’s a sort of reverse bigotry. The non-religious gets in a scandal and it’s “business as usual.” The pastor destroys his marriage and he’s no longer qualified for ministry, or to be treated like a human being.
How far do we take this? If an atheist turned out to be an axe murderer, his atheism as a cover is as good as a cheap hooker’s dress. Try to call that the usual business and you’re likely to be called insane.
No matter who you are or claim to be, a standard has claimed you.
The late John Stott said, Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross … It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.
While no one has a valid excuse for hypocrisy, a follower of Christ has more reason to keep it real. He is held accountable even when others are not. And if we claim no superiority, then we have no right to judge outside the church. We have every right to confront each other in the church, to build and not to destroy.
But we cannot ask of others what we first are not doing ourselves.
Continue reading “Self-Dissociation: How A Christian Can Condemn The Very Sin He Loves Doing”