Friday, May 11, 2007

No law but Creed but Christ

Confession of Faith / Creed / Mission Statement / Rant …The gospel is the epicenter of my being. Christ is the catalyst of all that I am. A fire is trapped in my veins, it rages like flaming adrenaline, and it must be exposed to a bloodletting. I must die that Christ might come alive in me. I must be a part of a more radical, militant, and authentic expression of the Christian faith. I want to be the 2nd coming of Francis of Assisi, Dietrich Bonhoffer, and Saint Patrick. I want to grow out of the roots of the early church as well as the various traditions that have followed in their wake. I must carry the heritage of the Moravians, Quakers, Methodists, etc. I want to be a resurrected Huss, Justin Martyr, Jim Elliott, Luther, Fox, and Spurgeon. I want to carry the undying fire of the martyrs deep in my hearts convictions. I want the furnace of my soul to be ablaze with the memories of Church history and the quickening of the Holy Spirit. I want to think like Augustine, Merton, and Pascal. I want to feel like Teresa of Avila, Ignatius, and Wesley. I want to act like Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day, and Mother Teresa.I want to be a worshiper with my hair on fire dancing with the holy rollers in an ecstasy of laughter and tears. I want to pray like the anchorites and the mystics with deep stillness, awe, peace, wonder, solitude, silence, and reflection. I want to be an evangelist who bravely and boldly pierces the darkness with arrows of poetry, art, dialogue, and example. I want to be a discipler who helps people really catch fire with God, grow fully alive, escape the Matrix, and explode unto the scene of this fallen planet with reckless ardor for God and maniacal zeal for Jesus’ kingdom. I want to be a minister of God’s mercy, justice, and redemption; to be a catalyst for Aslan’s majestic love-parade through the citadel’s of Satan’s former territory. I want to be a combat marine, besieging hell, storming Lucifer’s Bastille, and with bloody hands tearing down the very gates of Hell. I want to be part of a fellowship that brings out the best in each other-mining our mutual potential for the diamonds of destiny found deep in the caverns of our darkness. To be a part of a group that challenges and chases each other into greatness; and a group that offers deep agape mercy and compassion to those wounded and twisted places deep in hearts and minds. I want to drink from the fountains of grace till I’m dizzy and punch-drunk on God’s goodness, and I want to lead everyone I can to the meadows of his healing and hope. I know who I am and who I am not. I am a prophet alive with a deep searing and seething fire for God’s holiness and truth and I must release it to be verbally blazed out and into the hearts of saints and sinners. I am a preacher with a passionate need to be an open vessel for God to lead His people to the high and deep places. I am an administrator who wants to see the kingdom up and running with a full head of steam, actively and efficiently marching God’s army from victory to victory-but sober and mindful that God does not just build up…but also tears down. I am a poet mystic who needs to feel the reflective, mysterious, ineffable, and silent things of God in the recesses of my stormy heart. I am a cultural architect and artist trying to find the pulse of my generation and to sculpt a bridge from that place into the kingdom of God. I am a man of passion and purpose lunging after God awkwardly and haltingly as best I can. I am a man of reflection and action in balance, grace, simplicity, and unflappable elegance. Or at least these are my aspirations. I am a liturgical, spontaneous, charismatic, liberal, and conservative Christian. I stand in the traditions of the social gospel; the contemplatives, liberals and evangelicals, and I seek to find the brightest and best in these traditions. I am the entire kingdom, now and through the ages…the blood of Quakers, Methodists, Martyrs, Monks, and others flows hot and steaming through my veins. I am a Son of God, His friend, and am becoming His lover. My job is nothing short of bringing every single person on this planet to Christ, to make every church the greatest church it can be, and to be transformed myself into a resounding echo, shadow, and a template of the very essence of Christ in His words, thoughts, feelings, and lifestyle. I am legalisms worst nightmare, and licentiousness’s living hell. I am an embarrassment and an open sore to the cult of religious veneer with their primping, posing, and pathetic hypocrisy. I am a thorn in the side of false worship, tepid commitment, and the double minded. I am a professional assassin and arsonist-attacking consumer Christianity and easy believism with all of its orchards of withered fig trees. I deeply struggle with the 1/2 baked, the “tomorrow” people, and the perpetual and professional “weaker brother.” I admit that apathy and passivity makes me carsick…rebel or follow but I share my Father’s stomach for being nauseated by Laodiceans. I am a pastor of healing, nurture, and renewal. A bruised reed I will not break. For people who will be “in-process,” and on a journey I offer comfort, balms of healing, patience, and covering. I dream of peoples destinies, and it keeps me up at night, travailing through tears of intercession that God would make whole the brokenness in people’s lives. Like Jesus I long to lift the chin of the shamed, naked, and abused. In my pastors heart is a furnace of love and compassion, though it mixes with the prophetic, it ever bends its knee to the whispers of God. Like the description of Aslan-Christ I want to be good, but I am not safe. I offer comfort, not being comfortable; hope, not insulation from reality; and nurture, not a winking at sin that makes my life easier while starving people of the deliverance they truly need. I am a catalyst for change and a steward of God’s next wave of impact. I am a frontiersman for the unexplored territory and an apostle for a unified renovation of the global body of Christ. I will stand every day with those in the 10/40 window, I will pray for the persecuted church, and pray that amnesty and justice would come to those wicked places and powers that stand against God’s will. I am unhinged, unshackled, unintimidated, and unstoppable in His power. I am immortal in his blood, and untouchable until Gods sovereignty determines the day has come to draw my shimmering soul home to heaven’s shores. And when I give my gift and it is received, everything in me centers into a fusion of my life’s purpose and I come fully alive. I am also melancholy, broken, depressed, lonely, frightened, faithless, seduced, rebellious, and exhausted. I deeply need those around me to minister healing, hope, and renewal to my soldier’s soul. I openly, nakedly, transparently, and honestly confess I need people. I need the flow of their hearts, spiritual gifts, wisdom, experience, and lives to mingle with my own. I need to sweat, work, be embarrassed, worship, bleed, suffer, sit, rest, stand, and laugh in the company of the saints. I need to be taken cared of, prayed over, challenged, rebuked, edified, encouraged, cried over, kicked in the _____, kissed on the lips, hugged, and slapped in the face. I have a tendency to be a hermit, an island, and a fortress of isolationism. I need God and my brothers and sisters in Christ to scale the battlements, cut through my barbed wire, and beat down the doors of my life. I want to believe I can make it without you…but I must confess, I can’t. I also confess that apart from God I can do NOTHING. Everything I am, have accomplished, or ever will is a testimony solely to Gods goodness, grace, longsuffering, and tender compassion. I am and have nothing, my pockets are empty…yet the glory of God overshadows and blinds me to my sin, wretchedness, and shame. He alone is worthy, and I am but clay in the His hand. Like Paul, I consider all of my credentials as ____ compared to the honor of knowing God. This is my creed, my mission, the gospel according to me. I cannot and will not bend from these visions, convictions, and callings. This is who I am. So help me God!



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