Are you practicing Disruptive Christianity or Sustaining Christianity?
In the Matthew 19 of the Bible, a rich man approaches Jesus and tells him arrogantly that he’s kept all the commandments faithfully as proof of his love and dedication to the Lord. Jesus then ups the ante on him and tells him to go sell all his belongings, give them to the poor and then basically says, “When you’ve done that come back and we’ll talk.” The Bible says that when the rich man heard this he went away sad because he was wealthy. (That’s my definition of Disruptive Christianity.)
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Fortunately, and unfortunately, I’ve never been a man of great material wealth. Growing up in an air force home with five kids didn’t help that.
Yes, I’ve tended to have cool gadgets and things in my life, but high gloss, fancy cars and extravagant lifestyles have always eluded me. And while a few years ago, I thought life was about as good as it could get–beautiful home, nice car, great job, wife, kids, stepkids, My Dog Molly, and weekends spent building things for the yard, creating, and living comfortable by the pool or building a fire in the pit and making S’mores with the kids, it has become more and more clear to me that God wasn’t happy with me having all that because I stopped doing the one thing he has had me doing most all of my life–living as a disruptive Christian. (To me, this lifestyle had become the essence of Sustaining Christianity.)
I remember my first Sunday here in Dallas in August of 2001. A black minister was speaking that day, filing in for them as they searched for a new one, and he told that congregation something they didn’t like hearing, just like Jesus did long ago. He said, “Get up out of this church building and get out there! That’s where the hurting people are. That’s where the people needing Christ are. They’re not in here with you.” He was serving as the youth minister then. He was gone a little after Christmas and sadly I’ve never seen him again. But he was right and not too long after that, I switched churches, too. (Disruptive.)
So I am back to the essential point of this post. What is disruptive Christianity?
From reading the previous posts of my blog here on DaddyClaxton.com you can learn more of the hell I endured from June of 2009 until very recently. Yes, in many ways I continue to recover, but like Job had nearly all his belongings and family on this earth taken from him as a test to see if he would curse God or remain faithful, in many ways, I feel I, too, have been living in the belly of a whale.
In many ways, I had stopped being who I am. Some would say I stopped being a troublemaker.
In college, we made a lot of noise and caused a lot of disruptions. We dared to challenge the systems, authority and to question everything.
Even in the eighth grade in Atwater, CA, in our journalism class, I stood for what I believed in and refused to write a fictional short story in a class that was supposed to be about reporting objective fact, not opinion, and certainly not fiction. I got an F on my short story because it became a factual accounting of why we shouldn’t have been writing fiction in journalism. Today, that’s sadly become common place; just as wrong now as it was back in the eighth grade.
This past year, I’ve been doing a lot of work to become an expert at making books for iPad, Kindle and Nook. For the past three months I’ve been working on John Ed Mathison’s When God Redefines The Possible. And you know what? Whenever I work in John Ed’s book, God begins to do just that in my life.
This morning in Arlington, Texas, I met with a woman who has a story to tell that’s going to be disruptive when told. It’s going to shake the foundations of some Christians and they’re not going to like it. Not one damned bit.
And so I sit here contemplating the difference between disruptive Christianity and sustaining Christianity, where I passively sit back and not do what the Lord has commanded by living comfortably and I am called to once again use the talents he has given me, the experiences and the knowledge to shake things up again.
What Kind Of Christianity Are You Living?
Do you spend the abundance of your time preaching to the choir? Do you have vast earthly riches that you cling to and refuse to let go of? When was the last time you talked to a non-believer and encouraged them to take the step to get right with God? When was the last time you held in your hands words that will enrage some in your local community because of their truth and passion and that will cause the status quo to shift? When you were in that situation, did you practice disruptive Christianity or sustained? Did you act or shirk from your calling?
I know now what happens in my world when I get lazy with God and I don’t want to spend anymore time in a whale’s belly. Where are you living?