The Other Stuff and Jesus

Christians have always had a hard time staying Christ-centered. That is, keeping Jesus as the main thing, the central focus, what everything else revolves around. Followers of Christ so often have Christ following the other stuff, the issues that weren’t passionate about, the later trends, the church politics and the other politics. Jesus has an obstructed view from the back of the bus.

Why should it be different than the first century? Most of the letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to the emerging churches in various locations either hinted at Jesus being a side note to strongly chastised churches for losing their focus on what was to the center of their purpose. The early church, prone to be pulled in various directions, needed someone to redirect it. Like a basketball coach calling timeout to remind her team of what they were to be about, Paul had to call the fellowships together for explanations, exhortation, and out of exasperation.

There’s always been the uncomfortable rub between Christ and culture. The mission and the ministry of the church is about Christ affecting and influencing culture rather than the culture changing our view of Christ. The atonement is not changed by the tone of cultural whims and wants. The gospel is good news for all, not a select few or certain polling groups.

In a world where opinions and causes change like the wind, the gospel is a steadying constant, the anchor that holds firm as life swirls in violent ways around it. When there are a number of other things blowing around the gospel, our attention has a bit of squirrel-like behavior to it, jumping from one tree to the next and looking for the next nut. Jesus is the un-moveable object Who exemplifies our God Who is moved by our hurts, heartaches, and celebrations.

Stephen Covey said “Keep the main thing the main thing.” It’s easier said than done, but when it is done, church-wise that is, it is memorable. No, it’s transforming!

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