Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I hate it when I stand in a long line and then find out it’s the wrong line. Maybe that’s why I’m continually dissecting my words, the words on this blog, in my books, and in the things I teach.

Word and Faith Movement. Name-it-claim it. Bible Movement. Seeker Friendly. Calvinists. Arminians. Denominationalists. Non-Denominationalists. Pre-tribulationists. Mid or Post-Tribbers. Pentecostals or Cessationists. These labels, or better said, “camps,” are a result of a privileged group of faith people who have had time to debate and to gather into groups with those of like minds. Groups give us security and identity. We need to feel that we are right and justified. We’re only human. During a day of plenty, people of faith in the west have the luxury of time on our hands. We’re not out standing in bread lines or sneaking under fences to get a Bible into the hands of a neighbor who is starved for the Gospel. We have the luxury of debate, of discovering principles birthed of Spirit, and to contest those things that irk us. An evangelical virgin from the most remote corner of civilization having only watched faith debated from the sidelines might believe that Christians are saying that there are many lines that lead to Christ. But the person of Christ is Himself only One, a Fathomless and Supernatural Being who couldn’t possibly be divided. But still, as people, we divide. But there’s a positive effect too.

The natural act of his power working in and through us causes us to want to help the poor or console a stranger, to study his Word until it makes sense to us, to group up and find unity in our work together, to expect and look for him to return, to believe he can do things beyond our grasp, to fall short, to go deep, to weigh, and, because we need it ourselves, to give bucketfuls of grace when we are misunderstood. The Way is narrow, meaning that it should not be difficult to spot or figure out; we each have to line up single file to go down it, each person subjecting his or her life to Christ’s examination. We cannot by our words change how He examines us and we cannot slide him between two glasses and tell him of our findings. Not only because it isn’t our right to do that, but because it’s impossible to contain him. He said who he was plainly: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we start and end there, we’re in the right line.