Saturday, 18 October 2014

Look at me - I'm a BEing not a DOing!

I've just listened to a sermon from some trendy worthy what's important and all-powerful (obviously not working in a UPA or Estate Church then!) regarding the fact that, as Christians, we are called to be human beings - the emphasis being on the 'BE" rather than human doings!

"We're not called to do anything in our Christian life but BE," he shouted. "Hallelujah," cried the people in the venue with him.

"We're not called to DO anything, we need to stop DOing and learn to be. Jesus doesn't ask us to DO anything other than BE with Him," he continued (to rapturous applause and cheers of 'Amen' and 'hallelujah').

Now as someone who has preached for as long as I can remember, it's true that we cannot buy or work our way into heaven - it's a free gift given to us by the sacrificial, one-time only, atoning death of Jesus, the Christ, on the cross - why am I disturbed by the words? Perhaps it's the fact that many who call themselves Christian are already doing so little!

I meet so many 'hobby Christians' who pop in to a service when it suits them and their social life.

I meet so many who are full of good intentions (and we know where they lead) and empty of good works. Those who tell me of what God is encouraging them to do and be; yet somehow they fail to turn encouragement into anything real and tangible.

I am a total supporter that ALL God wants us to do is to love Him in the company of the Son and enabled by the power of His Holy Spirit. For years I have preached this message:

"All God wants you to do is sit on your bums and love Him!"

This is in line with the 'human BEing' message that I heard today - we are in total agreement.

BUT that's not the end of the story for out of my BEing with God comes something that wants to express my love and DO stuff:

It might be singing His praise

It might be dancing

It might be doing stuff in the church or for the Church or for those outside the church or For the Church

It should include stuff that makes us look like Jesus to the world and like Church in our worship and outpouring of love (and that also means obedience)

The problem is that BEing is not the end in itself but the BEginning of our our Christian life and this is because Jesus calls us to DO.

To take up our cross, denying ourselves the things that deny God and follow Jesus
(Matt 16.26 // Lk 9.23)

To GO out into all the world and make disciples of those we meet, teaching the what the Bible says (and that's another 'DO' in some people's book when in fact it is a massive 'BE') and teach those we meet to keep God's commandments (not suggestions).
(Matt 28. 19 // Mk 16. 16)

I'm struggling with those who are preaching a message that tells believers that eternity is about BEing with God in heaven for all eternity and so we need to stop worrying about DOing and get used to 'just BEing' with Him now - and this means stopping worrying about what we do and, "Relax and just enjoy who we are in Him!"

It's great to be told that God wants us to , "Lie down with Him beside the quiet waters and to lay back on the grass and celebrate 'just being'," but the problem is that as great as that sounds (and I'm certainly up for some of that) I am continually called back to Jesus as a role model - and He certainly was a DO'er and concerned that the call to, "Just Be and chillax (is that a word?) in God," is a call to condemn those who don't know Him (Jesus) to something that condemns them.

I am continually called back to Romans 10. 14-15 regarding those who are distant from God:

"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? 
 And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? 
 And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? 

 That is why the Scriptures say, 
“How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”  "

Would it be nice to think that those who proclaim that we're human BEings rather than Doings were actually DOing because they BE following Christ's example of loving service and sacrifice. That said, perhaps the next time someone has a need, the Church should just tell them that we're sorry but we're busy 'being' can they come back later when we are 'doing'?

So very grateful Jesus wasn't just BEing when my needs were before Him!

1 comment:

JonG said...

All sounds rather unscriptural to me.
Anyway, if we Really want to Be with Jesus, we won't achieve it sat on our backsides, because that isn't where He is. If we want to Be with Him, we have got to get out where He is - amongst the dirt, the grime, the sin, the crap, the blood, and sometimes the stones and the whips.
I was privileged/ shamed to spend this past weekend, and in particular Saturday evening in the pub with two people, one who was in at the beginning of the local Street Angels, and one who tries to organise it now. I suspect that you are more likely to be with Jesus with them than in the whooping, cheering congregation you describe.