Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Need of Our Time

“The greatest need of our time is for the church to become what it has seldom been: the body of Christ with it’s face to the world, loving others regardless of religion or culture, pouring itself out in a life of service, offering hope to a frightened world, and presenting itself as a real alternative to the cultural arrangement….
I want neither a blood-‘n’-guts religion that would make Clint Eastwood, not Jesus, our hero; nor a speculative religion that would imprison the gospel in the halls of academia; nor a noisy, feel-good religion that is a naked appeal to emotion. I long for passion, intelligence, and compassion in a church without ostentation, gently beckoning to the world to come and enjoy the peace and unity we possess because of the Spirit in our midst….
At the dawning of the twenty-first century, what separates the committed from the uncommitted is the depth and quality of our love for Jesus Christ. The superficial among us build bigger barns in the euphoria of a prosperity gospel; the trendy follow the latest fad and try to hum their way to heaven; the defeated are haunted by ghosts from the past.
But the victorious minority, unintimidated by the cultural patterns of the lockstepping majority, live and celebrate as though Jesus were near – near in time, near in space – the witness of our motives, our speech, and our behavior. And indeed he is.”

Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus
Multnomah Publishers, 1996
pgs. 9-11

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