Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vampire Christians

No, this is not because I really want to play Fury of Dracula again...
The gospel of sin management produces vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else... At the heart of right-wing theology is the individual forgiveness of sins. On the left it is the removal of social or structural evils. The current gospel then becomes a gospel of sin management. Transformation of heart and character is no part of the redemptive message. Moment to moment human reality is not the arena of faith and eternal living. What right and left have in common is neither has a coherent framework of knowledge and practical direction adequate to personal transformation toward the abundance and the obedience emphasized in the New Testament. (Dallas Willard)
OK, Dallas can be tough to wade through sometimes - let's let Erwin take a crack at it.
How is it, that for many of us, being a good Christian is nothing more than being a good person? The entire focus of our faith has been the elimination of sin, which is important but inadequate; rather than the unleashing of a unique, original, extraordinary, wonderfully untamed, faith. (Erwin McManus)
Is this me? Is this you? Is this what we've settled for? Are we just slinking around the shadowy edges of life, mistaking being a good guy for being men of faith?


JasonB said...

So, I understand what they are trying to say, but I don't know what they're describing would look like. If being a Christian is more than being a good person (and it has to be, since there are enough good non-Christians), what does a transforming faith look like?

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Excellent question - I think it's going to be a life defined not by what we disagree with but by what we support. Intead, I think we're talking about a life more worried about making a masterpiece than keeping the studio clean & tidy.

These will be people who love with abandon, give generously, laugh loudly, serve diligently, play with all their hearts & create wild new wonderful things that give glory to God. They will be morally upright as well - but "didn't do anything wrong" and "checked off all the boxes on the offering envelope" will not be on their gravestones.