Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blind

Blind

Today at lunch I was reading a book by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins called, “The Jesus Chronicles: Mark’s Story”.
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It is the second in a series of four novels that they are writing about the authors of the four gospels. I have been taking my time, going through the book at a leisurely pace, enjoying the novelization of the days of Jesus and the early church. Often I have found myself smiling, laughing and amazed. Sometimes I have just let my imagination wonder to what it must have been like to be there walking and talking with Jesus, and to witness or be a part of the birth of the church.

Today I read where Saul, now called Paul, came to the disciples and told of his conversion. It captured the disciples’ disbelief that this man, their former enemy, now wanted to join them in spreading the gospel of Christ. Saul described his blindness on the road to Damascus , and his conversion and of course, they finally came around and embraced Paul as a brother in the Lord.

It got me to wondering about my blindness.

You see, Saul couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

He was so blinded by the laws, the traditions and the religion that he had embraced, that he could not see the one whom they were all supposed to be about: Jesus. He had to be literally blinded before he could truly see.

Which brings me back to my blindness.

I pastor a Southern Baptist Church. Now, I like to tell people that it “ain’t your Daddy’s Southern Baptist Church.”, but we are a Baptist church nonetheless. I am proud to be a Baptist, and to belong to the Southern Baptist Convention (not that I agree with everything they do, heck, I don’t even agree with everything I do).

But first and foremost I am a Christian.

I am a Christian first, and a Baptist second.

Which brings me back to my blindness.

You see, I wonder if some of my “Baptist traditions”, my “Baptist laws” & my “Baptist religion” blinds me to see things the way God does. I think sometimes all the “Baptist stuff” can get in the way and block my vision so that I can’t see all the “Jesus stuff” that I need to see.

What about you?

What blinds you? Do you have to have church “this way” or “that way” in order for it to be church?

Do you think every Christian must abide by your traditions, your rules and your religious ceremonies, or they are just not “Christian” enough?

This is nothing new, it is a problem that ha been going on since the church began. The early church had a difficult time accepting Gentiles (non-Jews) as fellow believers. There was debate, there was dissension, there was arguing, but in the end, the Gentiles were accepted. Some blinded eyes were open. The church grew. And God was honored.

Maybe it’s not a particular thing, but a particular people that blinds us. What would many of us do if a tattooed, pierced guy with a Mohawk hair cut that was dyed purple, came to church and felt that God was calling him to be a missionary to the disenfranchised youth sub-culture, or the biker sub-culture? How would we react? Would we have eyes to see…..or be blinded?

In John 7:24 Jesus said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Can we see with spiritual eyes, or do our physical eyes get in the way? Does what we see with our eyes blind us to the spiritual vision that God has for us?

In Mark 7:8 he says to the Pharisees "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

There is nothing wrong with traditions, until the traditions get in the way of someone seeing Jesus. When our traditions, rules or Christian measuring stick gets in the way of people who need Jesus, then they need to go.

I'll leave you with the lyrics to a song by Casting Crowns off of their latest cd: The Altar And The Door.
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The song is called, "What This World Needs".

What This World Needs
by Mark Hall & Hector Cervantes

What this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind
Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three ring circus society
What this world needs is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit

What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs

What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt
What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world free

Jesus is our Savior, that's what this world needs
Father's arms around you, that's what this world needs
That's what this world needs

Ok, I have an appointment with The Eye Doctor now,
Pastor Dave

2 comments:

Deena said...

Bravo!

Sharon said...

I am here because your lovely wife sent us over. I have scrolled down through some of your post and really enjoyed your thoughts.
Blogs are a great way just to put it out there.
I go to a small church. Probably around 40 to fifty on Sunday morning. My pastor is bi vocational also. We have to remind him that he can not do everything. And yes, he knows that.
We do try to help. My husband and I are friends(not just members)with our pastor and his wife. We know that they need someone that they can be themselves with-warts and all. We love them dearly and feel in a way lie they are our ministry.
He feeds and shepherds us and we take care of him and his wife.
I thin every pastor and wife need this.
Take care and get some rest.
Love your wife--she is real. Warts and all. ;) The world needs more who are not afraid to be themselves.