I have been doing some reading on the current seeming theme that the world we live in is becoming increasingly non-christian. It is a world that is different from the one our grandparents grew up in which assumed the knowledge of Jesus and familiarity with the Christian story.
That world has been described as “Christendom” it was a world where the political sphere and the church sphere were fused together. That world, I am learning pushed the Jesus of the gospels to the margins as I had posted previously. But our world is now rediscovering the Jesus of the gospels once again as the medieval and modern age Jesus becomes increasingly unknown. That Jesus was complicit to the powers that be and his life and teachings were largely ignored. The fact that the New Testament Jesus is being rediscovered ought to be a welcome news! but old habits die hard. How might the church effectively rediscover the Jesus of the gospels? the simple answer is, by being the church. What does this mean? In his book, “The Royal Priesthood”, John Howard Yoder describes this church that I am referring to.
Yoder writes, “The church will be most effective where it abandons effectiveness and intelligence for the foolish weakness of the cross in which are the wisdom and the power of God. The church will be most deeply and lastingly responsible for those in the valley of the shadow if it is the city set on a hill. The true church is the free church.” For the church to rediscover the Jesus of the gospel and be faithful to him, the church must be distinct and separate from the powers that be! Now before you jump into this, count the cost because the cross is costly.