Sunday, May 24, 2009

Confessions of a non-Scholar

I'm still bouncing our Sunday School discussions off of you. Hope you don't mind.

"Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." Luke 8:1

Glad tidings. Good news. Gospel. Good news of salvation? hmmm. Yes and no. The good news of "the kingdom of God." What the heck does that mean?

Average 21st century evangelical Christians tend to focus the gospel we share (at least theoretically if not in practice) on what we have been saved from. And I'm willing to admit that's a big deal. Sin, guilt, death, hell, eternal separation from God ---a huge deal in regards to life after death.

But most of us, God willing, have 75 or so years of life before death which begs the question: what are we saved to? I think the verse above (and the preceding chapters of Luke) tells us --the good news of the kingdom of God.

You already know by the title of this post that I am no scholar. I have no seminary education, but according to my understanding and some help from Luke and the Holy Spirit (I don't think they had seminary educations either so take it for what it's worth ;-)), the kingdom of God seemed to look something like lepers, prostitutes, and demoniacs being touched, loved, and restored; the rich selling what they have to give to the poor who are no longer outcasts; and systems that perpetuate neglect, abuse, oppression, and hierarchy in the name of religious piety and arrogance being challenged by justice, community, equality, and freedom in the name of and imitation of Jesus.

Not much has changed. We still have our cast offs -addicts, homeless, immigrants. We still have the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We still have greed, systemic poverty, and corruption. While Jesus walked the earth, He lived the kingdom of God. Exampled it for us in every relationship. And His devoted followers did likewise. What about us?

Do we know what we've been saved from? Praise God! Do we know what we've been saved to? If Scripture clearly defines it --will we follow?

"Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)


Gramma Karen said...

My this is a deep subject and I am not a scholar either. However, I was taught by a former pastor that the Kingdom of God on earth is a spiritual realm--Christ within us--into which we enter when we accept Christ. The world in which we live doesn't change, we do. There will always be the poor, the greedy, etc. in the world. There isn't enough room to explain it in detail...ugh!!!!

Anonymous said...

ok so I was only 2 posts behind. Yes, you do have big foreheads :)Just kidding only Tim does :):) that's a double smile
Love the pics of the kids.
2nd, I was just watching the season finale of Extreme Makeover Home addition. It was about a guy who really cared for his neighborhood and was making a difference. I thought of you guys the whole time. I believe you are living out the Gospel in it's here and now sense of the Word. I'm proud of you guys. I love you
Once again it wouldn't let me publish it under my account so I have to publish under anonymous. This is Nancy your neighbor up the street.

Heather said...

Hey, Amie! Do you have any time between Sunday, June 7th and Tuesday, June 9th when Eric and I can visit you? We're hoping to be at Faith for church but it'd be great to have some time to catch up with you. Eric keeps saying that meeting you will be like meeting a famous person because apparently I talk about you guys a lot... I must like you! Also, do you want to plan a date with Tim and we could babysit, or do you want us to take some of the kids out for a couple hours?

The Sexton Crew said...

Miss Karen -I get what your saying, well, as much as you could elaborate on. I think we must guard ourselves from letting the pendulum swing too far to either side. If we internalize and spiritualize every aspect of our faith, we aren't really imitators of Christ. (I don't think that's what you meant though) But it is also possible to do the "works" of Christ without even knowing Him -which would be the other extreme.

Hope that makes sense! Love you!!

Nancy -I knew it was you. Saw the show and thanks for the love! Now, where shall we build the boxing ring? Oh, and I figured it was either double smiles or dimpled butt cheeks. Glad to know you were happy and not cyber-mooning us. ha.

Heather -I'm answering you on your blog 'cause it seems egotistical to expect you to come back here for a response. =)

The McNeill family said...

PleAse wRitE mOre brAiN dUmP. yOu wIll rEciEve cHocOlaTe if yoU cooPerAte.
- aNonYmouS

...(okay, maybe not exactly anonymous, but technically this could have been written by David.wink!)

Heather said...

Hey, Amie!

Thanks for the invite to do lunch or dinner on Sunday. Yes, please let's do whatever works best for you. Tomorrow I'll see Eric and finally know if he survived! :-) Looking forward to seeing you!