Christianity is a pretty awesome faith these days. We have totally abandoned the concept that faith would actually produce some sort of result in someone’s life, or even our own. It’s basically just a mechanism to improve ourselves, ask God for stuff that would make our lives better. But nothing ever actually HAPPENS, right? Well, except that you “have faith”… That (whatever that is) happens.
But this is not Biblical faith. Biblical faith included all sorts of crazy stuff. It included healing people. And feeding huge crowds with tiny amounts of food. And causing trees to wither in an instant. Water into wine. Speaking in tongues. You know. Some pretty crazy stuff.
“Oh but that’s just stuff that Jesus did. That’s different.”
Is it? Not according to Jesus. He didn’t say that faith the size of a mustard seed could allow HIM to move a mountain. He said it would allow US to move mountains. Faith used to be something that allowed you to DO stuff. Crazy stuff, like heal people. Now it’s just something we TALK about. You have faith if you talk about Jesus a lot. Or talk about the Bible. Or go to church. But it doesn’t actually turn into actions. Actions that can only be explained by faith.
That’s all outdated stuff, the thought that faith would make doing crazy things possible. Anyone who claims to have done something crazy by way of faith is a nut. We tend to step away and assume that someday they will be praying for people on TV in exchange for a $25.00 donation. WE DON’T EXPECT TO SEE FAITH IN ACTION ANYMORE. We’re satisfied just talking about what things were like 2,000 years ago when “that stuff” actually happened. God’s retired now. Didn’t you hear?
Today we don’t measure the significance of a church by the crazy weird stuff it pulls off in radically saving people’s lives (like with food, or healing). We measure the weekly collection. Butts in seats. We measure the extent to which we can get people to come into the church instead of measuring the crazy radical stuff the church members do when they are NOT in the pew.
Faith, to be blunt, has been watered down to the point that just showing up for church at all is considered an act of faith. And that’s not as dry and boring as it used to be because church these days is pretty entertaining stuff. And that’s not a bad thing. Unless it’s the only thing.
Faith is about showing up in an impoverished nation without enough food to feed the people in front of you but somehow not running out of food. That’s the crazy kind of stuff I’m talking about.
I’ve been working with a friend who is planting a new church. This is one of those places where crazy things happen. Old Testament and New Testament kind of crazy things. I’m not talking about people wandering around with their hands in the air aimlessly and praising Jesus every three seconds. I’ve been to a few of those churches and that stuff weirds me out. Seems fake. No I’m talking about stuff I can’t really get my head around.
I tell my Sunday School class all the time that God did stuff in crazy ways for one simple reason: So we would know it was Him. You see a burning bush talking to you, there are only a couple of extra explanations for that. You’ve either eaten the wrong kind of mushroom, or that’s God. Toss in the fact that the bush wasn’t actually consumed by the flames and you’re pretty deep into God territory there. Stepped into a blazing furnace and your hair didn’t event get singed? Yeah. That’s pretty crazy. Only one explanation for that.
But that stuff doesn’t happen today. Right? Why not? Maybe it does. Maybe we’ve just watered down our perspective on faith that we don’t expect crazy weird stuff from God anymore. But maybe we should.
So I’m seeing some crazy weird stuff. Haven’t see a mountain move yet. But I’ve seen some stuff. Stuff that can only be explained by the hand of God. So my mind is opening a little bit. There’s a miracle for ya!
A lawyer with an open mind. Yeah… God really does do crazy stuff.