Back in 2005, soon after I’d made the decision (momentous for Jana and me) to sell our home in Montgomery and move to Pittsburgh to attend seminary, I heard a talk by Ted Wardlaw, President of Austin Theological Seminary. Dr Wardlaw said something startling. He said the church most people had been raised in had served to “inoculate us against the real thing.”
The church most of us grew up in was safe.
The church was where you went to experience religious programs, take part in religious services, be inspired.
Yet the church Jesus gave the world was anything but safe.
Jesus came to bring a new kingdom to all of creation. Jesus was the intersection between his kingdom and the kingdom of the world. Everywhere Jesus went, life as God intended was breaking in.
The early church was wildly countercultural.
The church most of us were raised had become the culture.
It felt safe, but was it what Jesus intended?
Every now and then you meet a Jesus follower who has a quiet calm about them. They’re secure in their person. They don’t need to win every argument. Change doesn’t bother them. Maybe it’s because they’ve had a glimpse of life as Jesus intended.
Maybe they’ve seen the new kingdom breaking in.
They know that the only safe place is where Jesus is.