Duck Church

Dare I say, most of us are investing our first and best, our most and our fullest, in two areas: (1) Our careers, and (2) The life that the money our careers bring us. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to earn a living, but if that’s the goal line, you will never experience the life you long for. No assembly line is going to manufacture a widget that brings purpose into your life. No deal, no contract, no stock option, no corner office, is going to make you feel at the end of your life like you did something of eternal significance.

Let me be frank with you: Many of you believe. Many of you consider yourself a Christian, but you’re not living it. You’re not serious about it. You’re not committed to it. How long is that going to go on? What are you waiting for? This is your one and only life, and you’re spending it fast.

It reminds me of a story by Soren Kierkegaard about a make-believe country where only ducks live. One Sunday morning, he said, all the ducks devotedly waddled into the duck church, waddled down the aisle, waddled into their pews, and squatted. Then the duck minister came in, took his place behind the duck pulpit, and opened the duck Bible and read, “Ducks! You have wings, and with wings, and with wings you can fly like eagles. You can mount up and can soar into the sky! Ducks, you can escape the confinement of pens and fences and know the joy of absolute freedom! You have wings, now go fly!” To which all of the ducks in the duck church stood to their feet and shouted with a hearty “Amen!” … and then waddled home.

As Christians we don’t have to waddle through life. We have been set free. We don’t have to live in the confinements of this world. There’s nothing more useless than someone who is a Christian in name only. Someone who carries the title, but doesn’t live the life takes God’s name in vain without saying a word. Christianity is not simply about a life that is informed with certain truths. It’s about a life that’s been transformed by the Truth.

Christians, your hope is in the Lord. He will renew your strength. You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not be faint. You don’t have to waddle through life.

(Sources: Soren Kierkegaard, James White)

jesus-our-president

Here we go again. Election year! It’s time for all the good Christians to start arguing over presidential candidates and shrouding Jesus in the American Flag. So many people genuinely believe that somehow their nominee is going to miraculously save the world (that’s already been done; that party was represented by a Lamb, not an elephant or a donkey).

Warning: aggressive political comments incoming. The following words will challenge your loyalties and make you feel uncomfortable. For the sake of clarity, I love my country, but I love the Kingdom of Jesus way more. If you’re easily offended, stop reading now.

No political party will ever legislate the Kingdom of God. Constantine tried; it was a disaster. When Christians take political matters more seriously than they do Jesus, the constitution becomes the gospel and the president becomes the messiah. The Christian icon is a bloody cross, not stars and stripes. Its emblem is not a donkey, an elephant, or even an eagle, but a slaughtered lamb.

If you’re more concerned with Republicans and Democrats than you are the Kingdom, you might be more American than you are Christian. If you spend more time with Bill O’Reilly or Bill Mayer than you do with Jesus, you might be more American than you are Christian. If you spend more time watching Fox News or CNN than you do reading the Bible, you might be more American than you are Christian. If you spend more time posting political images on social media… well, you get the picture.

Let me be clear (see what I did there): If you have more faith in Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton than you do the local church to be an agent of change in your community, then you need to find a new church. The Kingdom has already been inaugurated and doesn’t need new legislation. So, change the channel. Stop letting alarmist fear-peddling talking heads fill your mind with partisan propaganda that blurs the lines between the Kingdom and the White House. Instead, open your Bible, get on your knees, and elect Jesus as president of your life.

Being overly concerned with election outcomes demonstrates a misplaced hope. Politics serve as a distraction to Kingdom priorities. Nothing should undermine the mission of the Kingdom to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” How? By serving the least of these, by fleshing out the Sermon on the Mount, by adopting orphans, by feeding the homeless, by taking care of widows, by visiting prisoners, by welcoming foreigners, by investing in mission, and by telling everyone about the life-changing freedom discovered in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, BE THE CHURCH!

If you wake up after Election Day and find yourself deeply disappointed, then my friend, you have too much hope in American politics and not enough hope in the Kingdom of God that’s breaking in on our world. If you have more faith in government than you do the Kingdom, you have pledged allegiance to the wrong institution. Elect Jesus as President of your life and see what happens. You’ll never wake up disappointed.

(Sources: “Jesus for President” by Shane Claiborne, Greg Mason, Phil Simpson)