Sunday, May 29, 2005

"The subversive and radical nature of the Kingdom"

Adam Ellis considers the effects of "safe" Christianity in the effort to bring the gospel to youth:

When did the church start being viewed as "safe"? When did Christianity become so nice and palatable? It seems to me that Jesus and His followers were thought of as neither "safe" or "palatable" by the powers that be and the culture at large. Is it possible that one of the reasons that Jesus (and the idea of following Him) seems so uninteresting to most teenagers is that we have presented Him as something He wasn't (safe, bland, neutered, etc.)?

Adam believes it's possible to harness the energy behind teenage rebellion for the good of the Kingdom.

However, it will require that we stop remaking Jesus in our own image and instead remake ourselves into His. It will require that we reveal to our teens the subversive and radical nature of the Kingdom. We will have to show them the Jesus that bucked pretty much all the systems. We must show them the Jesus who stubbornly swam upstream against the currents of power, greed, control, selfishness, and pride, by the power of love . . . . Oh, and one more thing: we have to be the rebels who model the Way for them, not the sellouts who paint a picture of Jesus that makes us feel comfortable and safe.

What if teens rebelled TO the church instead of away from it? What if that was the plan all along?

What if, indeed.


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