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Subversive Christianity

Subversive Christianity

With Easter finished, it feels like society pushes Christianity back into its usual place.That place seems like a place where Christianity is ignored, is challenged, is on the fringes.While a few people try to hold to a nationalized Christianity, most of us realize that we are now a post-Christian society. Our roots might still display Christian values and morals but above the surface our society lives a pseudo-Christianity.Society, culture likes Christianity, but only when it’s in the background.
The post-Easter return to our less public position doesn't alarm me, because ....... the posture of the church is a subversive posture.
For this understanding I am very grateful to the writings of Eugene Peterson (perhaps known to you via The Message transliteration of the Bible).
We, the church are a subversive people.it’s not the posture that is seen as successful or even desired in our culture but it’s the way of the Kingdom of God.To have kept the applause of the crowd as we in some way get at Easter (as Jesus got on Palm Sunday) - would be to miss all that we are and fail in our calling.
Not that subversive is deviant or undermining - rather - it is challenging and alternative and the church does this in an indirect and oblique way.
Let me explain.
The church that just preaches at people and tells them they are wrong and sinful and headed to hell ends up with people thinking we are crazy - and irrelevant. What we have to say (which could be the truth) falls on deaf ears.We act subversively.
Take Jesus.
To quote Eugene Peterson: Jesus was the master of indirection. The parables are subversive. His hyperboles are indirect. Much of what he said defies common sense, but later on the understanding comes.Jesus slowly moved people to believe in who He was often by using teaching that spoke truth but did so in a roundabout way.Listen again to Peterson beautifully describe the subversive ways of Jesus:
Jesus' favorite speech form, the parable, was subversive. Parables sound absolutely ordinary: casual stories about soil and seeds, meals and coins and sheep, bandits and victims, farmers and merchants. And they are wholly secular: of his forty or so parables recorded in the Gospels, only one has its setting in church, and only a couple mention the name God. As people heard Jesus tell these stories, they saw at once that they weren't about God, so there was nothing in them threatening their own sovereignty. They relaxed their defenses. They walked away perplexed, wondering what they meant, the stories lodged in their imagination.
And then, like a time bomb, they would explode in their unprotected hearts. An abyss opened up at their very feet.
He was talking about God; they had been invaded!
This is our posture.In your workplace.In your neighborhood.For Crosswalk Community Church within the broader Sunnyvale community.
For us to be subversive we need to know truth, be in prayer (partnership with the Holy Spirit) and hold on our lips words that can invade the human spirit with Christ.
None of that needs the platitudes of the Easter crowd.A subversive movement doesn’t seek the applaud of people.But we have a presence that is as wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove - and in that way - we introduce a new way of life, the Kingdom of God, into the domain of the Kingdom of this world.
So, Easter has ended - and with that Christianity is pushed aside until Christmas - BUT - we do the Gospel work beneath the surface of awareness.
Makes me think.Makes me see reality differently.Join in.

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