28 November 2014

Leaving Evangelical Perfectionism

A thundering thought for the morning:

When we, as evangelicals, try to be perfectly religious, we forget to let Jesus show up.

Americans have the luxury of seeking perfection. We can work hard to garner resources, set the American Dream in motion, and use our freedom to cast our evangelical net toward those with whom we want to do life--the less messy, the better. The less broken, the better. The less objectionable, the better.

But there goes Jesus, out the door of our perfectly cast evangelical net, to find the messy, the broken and the objectionable.

What we fail to see is that in our evangelical perfectionism, we object to the true net Jesus casts. He never sought or promised perfection though he himself is perfect. He sought and promised, and seeks and promises through us, to rescue all that are lost who want to be less perfect and thus, salvageable.

We get perfectly evangelical when we go off on our own, judging the net that Jesus casts as beneath us or too void of rules and commandments. We park love until things are right--rules less broken, the picture closer to perfect. 

Jesus never parked (or parks) love.

There is not a human outside of the net he casts, unless our quest for perfection removes our very selves from his quest--that of allowing us to be his love message.

What is the message of our evangelicalism?

Jesus, help me trade my evangelical perfectionism for that which is to you the most perfect quest of all: joining my messy, broken, objectionable self with everyone else to love and serve.

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