My friend Brian Rupe recently posted a blog warning it was “A little R-rated”
The blog was comic/serious and I thought I’d take a leaf out of Brian’s book/blog by calling this serious/comic blog, “Sex Trafficking in the Church” but on second thoughts settled for the nude sculpture and the less sensational title of,
TRANSIENT TRANSACTIONAL TRAGEDY (TTT)
TRANSCENDENT COVENANTAL COMEDY (TCC)
The story of the 10 lepers was what came to mind. All ten are healed, but Jesus is saddened when only one returns to thank him.The attitude of the majority was, “I got what I wanted…… Now I’m out of here!”
It was a Transient Transactional Tragedy.
The reality is that our baser nature is a TRANSACTIONAL one. So the majority, elect leaders, who reflect this. Although this is true of most politicians, Donald Trump reminds us of this quite starkly. He is the man who literally “wrote the book” on “The Art of the Deal” and to give him credit has lived consistently by that philosophy whether in business, marriage or politics…..and honestly, don’t we all love a deal ?
Yes, Trump is right and so is Obama: It’s “Change We Need – Make America Great”……..but it’s a more profound change than which man sits in the White House. The very fabric of this transactional culture needs to change.
I ended the blog two weeks ago pointing to Paul’s ‘vision from heaven’ which caused a profound change in him as he surrendered to the one who said.
(‘I’m not offering you a deal……..I’m inviting you to) ‘Take up your cross and follow me’.
So how do we become like the Christ we follow so that the ‘heavenly vision‘ can come on earth?
……….It is through changing our view of people and our approach to RELATIONSHIPS.
Paul went on to say reflecting on his experience with the immature Corinthian believers, “And I will gladly spend and be spent for you: though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” (2 Cor.12:15)
He was probably like his Jesus saddened by the fact that these transactional “Christian” people ‘used him’.
However Paul had moved beyond living life as the human TRAGEDY that it is, to understanding it is also – the divine COMEDY, and so with joy he was able to ‘gladly’ take these relational hits from his brothers and sisters, knowing that his life was hid with Christ in a God whose nature is COVENANTAL not Transactional!
Yes, sadly in the church culture there is a lot of ‘trafficking’ among ‘Christian’ people too, from the pulpit and pew alike. Those who are there to get something by ‘ministering to’ or by being ‘ministered unto’, but who when the transaction is done…….‘I’m out of here.’
This exchanging of services with ‘no strings attached’ is what I was alluding to in the title,“Sex Trafficking in the Church” in stark contrast to ‘The REAL Deal’ of God’s unconditional, unwavering, unending, self donating love.
As soon as we get what we want or encounter a ‘bump on fellowship road’ we can too easily just move on down that road to the next group or ‘pick and choose’ from the spiritual smorgasbord now increasingly available with modern technology greasing the downhill slide into a ‘Virtual Unreality’ type of fellowship, Paul warns of in 2 Tim. 5.
“You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”
In other words, Stand against the tide and stick with it, for it is through committed family relationships, of God-connected people, doing real life together, over the long haul, that we and the world are transformed.
Of course people’s circumstances and physical locations change, but those who have been ‘jointed’ in the body (I’m not much of a ‘joiner’) by His Spirit remain real friends for life. (I don’t want to be a fickle ‘leaver’ either!)
Brian is an example of a good friend who has over the years been true to the covenant we have entered into through Christ. If you’re intrigued by his naughty (Wild Ass) blog, you can read it and others here : – ) Brian Rupe’s Blog
P.S. More about the nude sculpture in Part 2 next week : – )