I’ve been reading The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne and it is shaking my soul at the very core of its foundation. Claiborne has a quote in Chapter 3 from one of my favorite philosophers, Soren Kierkegaard, that really puts it perspective for me:
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”
Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard.
Just imagine if we quit pretending we are Christians through our shallow lip service. What if we just lived the Christian life because we actually believed what God had to say and loved like Christ told us to love? Many question the issue of the emerging or organic church because it seems foreign, or “liberal.” In the book of Acts it was reality. Today it is becoming reality again. What can we learn from Kierkegaard? What does it have to do with Christianity and the emerging/organic church? It is about living a life of total abandon for a cause that is greater than any we could imagine. The cause is simply to love as God loves because he asked us to love him first and love those around us like we love ourselves. No more and no less. Just love. The rest should come naturally and flow like refreshing water.
Let’s not complicate the issue in Matthew 28:19 of going, making disciples and baptizing those disciples in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Let’s not be afraid to teach them the truth in Christ’s words. Let’s teach them to embrace the commands and abide by them. Let’s live it first!
Don’t be a scheming swindler…