Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Set Apart" Does Not Mean "Weird"

In the Bible Christians are commanded to be 'holy', which actually means 'set apart'. Sometimes, in attempts to be 'set apart' from the world in which we live, we end up just being weird. Trying to convince people who aren't Christians to join us in our weirdness is a difficult task.

The early church had the same problem. This morning I was reading in Acts chapter 15 where a group of followers of Christ were trying to convince people that you had to be circumcised in order to be saved. Talk about a tough sell! After the church leaders met to discuss the matter, James (Jesus' little brother) came forward and said, "We should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God."

It's so easy to unintentionally put additional qualifications on salvation. We know in our heads that salvation is by grace through faith. But we create "boundary markers" in order to distinguish whose in and whose out. It's not hard for me to recognize unnecessary boundary markers in other Christian circles...I just think, "What is it about those people that seems so weird?" Why do you all dress that way, or use strange words, or listen to music that hasn't been cool for a very long time? But it's difficult, nearly impossible, to see the unwritten boundary markers that I've invented. They make sense to me and are easily justifiable in my head. But regardless of how I feel about these pet preferences, the truth is they "make it difficult for [people] who are turning to God."

I don't want anything in my life to hinder someone from turning the God. I want my life to be a road block on the road the hell, forcing people to turn aside. In the words of Mark Driscoll, "Jesus plus anything ruins everything." We need to hold up Jesus, not cling to our preferences. I want to be set apart, not weird!

1 comment:

southbaychurch said...

Great post babe! Can I just cc that and put it on my blog :-) Love you!