unfortunately i am a sucker for top 40 music, which means i subject myself to droning beats and, the majority of the time, awful lyrics. case in point: #4 song title on itunes? ‘sexy and i know it.’
bruno mars has a song (‘it will rain,’ #8 if you must know) where he sings, ‘there’s no religion that can save me.’
at first this line annoyed me. it sounds conceited, and especially stupid when you compare it to what he thinks can save him. but really, he’s 100% right.
religion doesn’t save anyone’s life. religion did not save mine. religion has never comforted me or encouraged me. it’s only ever been a structure around what isn’t by nature structured – spirit, and for me, healing, presence of peace and a lot of other intangibles. but religion seems to get confused with the Person.
i rarely say things in a new or profound way, so when i find someone who does i latch onto it. bryan and i have been listening to andy stanley’s messages online for a couple of years now. leading up to Christmas, he said this:
‘gospel’ actually means ‘good story.’ this is good news for everybody. if there’s anything about the message of Christianity that does not strike you as good news, perhaps somebody has distorted the message of Christianity for you. if there’s anything about the church that in your past and in your history didn’t strike you as good news, perhaps someone has distorted or presented a poor characterization of the church.
when someone says, ‘i’ve got good news!’ the first thing you don’t think is, ‘what am i going to have to do?’ or ‘what is it going to cost me?’ good news means, here comes an opportunity. good news means your life is better. good news means, there’s something you’re not going to have to do that you thought you’d have to do.
if your feelings about God or Jesus or the church are less than [good news], then perhaps somebody hasn’t made it clear.
there are so many people i would like to say these exact words to. family included. the only thing that keeps you from seeing Christ as good news is because of the way that news has been delivered to you, whether broken or only in part. or, if you do think Jesus’ coming, dying and resurrecting is good news, but you’re not allowing it to transform every corner of yourself, then you don’t really think that at all. because it’s not just good. it’s life changing.
you’ve heard it before but let it sink in, and maybe you’ll start walking around like i have been lately – elated with joy for a chance at this temporary sin-filled life. you are seen by God through the lens of Jesus, a perfect, 100% man/100% God Person that came not only to save you – from satan, sin, and yourself – but more importantly to walk with you and to relate to you. to be the ultimate companion in this life and the next, when we will see Him in fullness.
it’s tragic to me, how many people know this news but can’t see it as ‘good.’ i’ll be writing about my recent run-in with learning to be open minded later, but that’s really all i (or anyone else) can ask of you.
consider and be changed, not by religion, but by a Person.
hear andy stanley’s full message here.
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