Thursday, December 18, 2014
Back in the garden, Adam began something that has been haunting men ever since. No...I don't just mean 'sin' ...that's a given. But specifically in relation to his interaction with his woman, who just happened to be the only other person to interact with at that time! The events of that day are sketchy...we aren't given a lot of details. But what we know transpired leaves us with lots of questions: where was Adam when Eve was chatting with the devil? Where was the protection and the leadership that he should have been exercising? And then,...then he folded like a house of cards in what was the first instance of what has been called the 'sin of passivity.' A sin has been the bane of humanity every since!
The "sin of passivity."
It has tore up our marriages, our relationships with others, often negated or at least rendered invisible our Christian testimony. We have missed great blessings that God wanted to give us, bypassed great opportunities God wanted to experience with us, and lost so many kingdom advancements and 'mountain top' events that God wanted to show us. How many marriages have been waylaid because the man wouldn't lead? Instead we use language like "well, it's just not as easy as that...it's not that simple...".
How many churches have 'missed the boat' because they chose rather to 'get along' instead of 'moving along?' For many, it is far more important to be in good standing with man than it is to be in right standing with God. How many pastors have been sidelined because they refused the fight, refused to really look close for fear that what they would find might alter their reality! So we appease. We avoid. We acquiesce. We assimilate. But the 'life and times of Jesus Christ' was not so lived. Jesus said in Luke 6:26..."woe unto you when all men speak well of you..." and Jeremiah the prophet warned of those who "offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound claiming 'peace, peace, when there is no peace.'"
To reject this blight is to enter into a realm of extremes. That is a truth that I have been very aware of since I began in ministry 30 years ago. I have always taught the ministry students here at JFB that to serve God in such a capacity causes the "middle" of your life to slowly fade and disappear, which is counterintuitive in a world that actively seeks the "middle!" Oh, we like the 'highs,' but not too high and not too often please! Generally, our tendency is to seek the calm, the safe, the stable, the average. We do not want to 'rock the boat' or 'cause a ruckus.' We want quiet at any cost and 'peace' at any sacrifice...even if that means our very soul, and even if it is only at best a "pseudo-peace."
I am reminded that the same Jesus "meek and mild" who said "...let the little children come to me" in Mark 10:14 also cleared the temple with a 'cat o' nine tails' whip. Extremes. The same Moses who doubted his ability and feared for his safety at one point, melted down the golden cafe and made the people drink it for their sin for their idolatry. Extremes. Peter? He was either experiencing the mountain transfiguration, or he was falling on his face. Extremes. The apostles in Acts were participants in miraculous events such as supernatural healings and great moves of the Holy Spirit, and then later being stoned, beaten, and martyred by the people. Extremes. And the list goes on and on...throughout the scriptures and throughout history in the lives of those greatly used by God.
And there were many, but many more who came and went without even a ripple! What made the difference? The "willingness to engage at the cost of the middle." Because the highs get higher and lows get lower, the further one travels in ministry. The middle of your life fades away. Thus every day for the engaged minister of God is a page stolen from "The Tale of Two Cities"..."...it was the best of times and it was the worst of times."
The alternative however is...for many of us, unthinkable! It is the option of average, quiet, calm, easy, and benign, all at the cost of peoples souls. Our 'sin of passivity' sucks the passion of our soul from us, and can condemn the souls of those around us. For some...and I pray for this church as we enter 2015, there can never be such a model played out. May we forever "love large and fight hard" and never let passivity find root...
Posted by T DODSON at 1:20 PM