The Burning Church

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“We proclaim the dignity of humans in a dehumanizing age. The Christian Church believes that humans are made in the image of God and even though that image is marred by sin, it cannot be eradicated but it shines out everywhere before us in every person. We believe in the ineradicable and irreducible glory of human beings; but we live in an age that believes in dehumanization. It’s complicated because we live in an age that talks about dignity more than any other in history, it’s actually the foundation of our political systems, but in practice, we know what dehumanization is. It’s an age where we still can consume the bodies of women in the name of desire,  which we can still shoot unarmed African-Americans in the name of the law, we can shame teenagers in the name of popularity, an age in which we are taught to view one another’s weaknesses with scorn and call it insight. The Christian Church should burn against this and every single thing that denies the dignity of human beings and we should join our neighbors in doing this because so many of them are laboring against the dehumanization of this world. Whether through private therapy or public housing, we should join them. We should let what we believe about the dignity of a person burn inside of us and then burn outside of us against the dehumanizing spirit of our age.”

– Greg Thompson, Q Denver

I listened to Thompson speak about the burning church back in April and it’s haunted me ever since. Today I opened my Bible to pray through some scriptures and it was so heavy, I had to stop. The tears were too many. The Lord reminded me of Greg’s words this afternoon and I took the best 18 minutes of my day to remember that it’s never okay to just give up, sit down, or shut up until the pain or problem goes away. We. Should. Burn. And burn on behalf of truth and righteousness and justice. May I never lose sight of the power of the Jesus Christ in my life and in the life of my community, country, and brothers and sisters all over the world. We’re living in some dark days, but we have to shine the righteousness of God and live out this life we’ve been given as graciously, honestly, and boldly as the Spirit sees fit.

Abide in Him. Do not give way to prevailing culture or Pharisaic mindsets, do not dismiss a single human being, bear witness to the birth pains of our day, do not look away. “Burn against the spirit of this destructive age with all the prophetic fires of love” for both the sake of the Gospel and your neighbor. It’s past time to bear one another’s burdens.  Let’s rise up, Church.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.”

-Galatians 6, ESV

Looking to heaven today, grateful for my sisters and brothers that continue to remind me to keep seeking the Lord and doing good, thankful for another day to hash my heart out with the Alpha and the Omega, who is forever forgiving, forever calling me into holiness, who always offers hope in the worst of days.

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