10 August 2009

Crazy Love (in your face)

I recently finished probably one of the best books I've ever gotten ahold of: Crazy Love by Francis Chan. My wife was the first person I knew who read it....and I have to admit I thought it was probably one of the those "soft Christianity" books written to appeal to women. She had told me she was enjoying it, so, when we saw a DVD study series that went along with it....I was pretty easily convinced that it would make a nice summer series for the 20x class at church.

All of a sudden the Crazy Love phenomenon began sweeping our church once a ladies summer reading group got ahold of it.....then the pastor read it and began quoting from it on Sunday mornings.

Crazy Love is anything BUT a soft Christianity read. In fact, I doubt most Christians could stomach reading it........or they would quickly dismiss the very basic directives Chan calls the church to...wait, scratch that, that Chan REMINDS the church that it is ALREADY called to. Jesus did the calling first, I think. The book absolutely gets in your face to make you question your priorities and what you do with the resources God entrusts you with (not your resources, His). Chan bravely throws the question out "have you ever wondered if we (primarily the protestant church) has gotten it all wrong?"

After reading the book, it has become clear to me that it is time to make some changes. My wife and I committed to each other before we married, then incorporated them in our vows, that we would live simple lives. We strive to do that...and honestly, it's pretty easy to "not keep up with the Jones" when you don't live next to the average Jones. But that's still not enough. Chan is asking why can't we live like the first Christians in the early church.....so, why can't we?

I've heard a few comments recently from people in my own church that I think are just disturbing when it comes to attitudes about the poor, the uninsured, the hungry in relation to their own resources. I don't think that it is unique to us though. I think that the attitude is pervasive throughout the church in America, mostly because we have married our politics to our faith......and "true religion" as defined in James, is losing out to amoral Republican thought.

The book is a quick read......but it is one of those books that sticks with you, that demands you evaluate your current state and attitudes about your resources in comparison to the Gospel. I encourage you to pick up a copy and take it to heart, if you've got the guts to do so. If there is a healthy, emerging church, I pray that the mindset of simply following Christ's model and words are its driving force.


or Chan's church that is walking the talk:

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