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Friday, January 30, 2009

Celebrating the "Most-Christian" Era . . .

I don’t know if he was quoting someone else or if it was his own creation, but the speaker said “There are only two ministry experiences in this post-Christendom era: 1. slow death 2. deep change.”

From my experience, I’m convinced the two ministry experiences have always been slow death or deep change. It was true when Jesus walked the earth in human flesh as a God-man and it is still true today as he walks the earth in human flesh as the eternal transformer of mankind. The worst thing that can happen to any Christian at any stage of development is to think we have finished with change. When we stop changing we lose the vitality of our relationship with Christ because he never stops changing us as long as the relationship is real and growing. When we stop being changed by our relationship with him we can be sure he has ceased to be Lord and Master, otherwise he always transforms us into his likeness. When we are totally surrendered to Christ and living in the power of his Spirit, we are “complete in him” (Colossians 2:10) but Christ will continue to transform us more and more into his image as long as we live in this world if we live in a state of full surrender.

What troubled me most, was the implication that we live in a post-Christian era. Now, notice he did not say “post-Christian” but “post-Christendom”. There is a huge difference and I’m sure the phrase was intentional. Perhaps he used that phrase because he, like myself, believes the best of the Christian era is not past but future, even though, as we all know, it will continue to be different in the future than it has been in the past.

I just “Googled” “Post-Christian” at fifty hits per page and got twelve pages or 600 hits. As you can imagine, I didn’t read them all, but skimming through the info I saw some heralding the demise of Christianity—some with glee and some with sorrow. Some dealt with how to witness for Christ in a Post-Christian world. I’m sure all have good thoughts, but I won’t accept the idea of a Post-Christian world until Christ returns. Until then, he will continue to work in the hearts and lives of those who allow him to work, he will continue to be victorious, and not only the individual people, but the world will continue to become more Christ-like.

Jesus taught us to pray to the Father “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Surely we don’t believe that was a prayer he doesn’t expect to answer in the affirmative? Surely it is not that he wants God’s kingdom to come in this world, but isn’t able to accomplish it?

As for me, I believe we are in the “Most Christian” era the world has ever seen. Perhaps this time is what Christ saw in his mind when said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” —John 14:12 (NLT)

I'm Rick Blumenberg,
And that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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