“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
(Romans 14:17 ESV)
Being the “Phoenix Preacher” with all the baggage that now surrounds that logo has always been a challenge to my faith.
I’ve seen a lot of dirt.
I learned to handle the dirt, got dirty myself, and learned to become a fan of grace showers.
I’ll tell you what I can’t handle…the hate.
Not people hating me…I have been blessed with far more friends than enemies.
This mornings email has people wanting to “rip Calvinism to shreds” ,smoke out Calvinist pastors, condemn the Orthodox to hell (and me with them), condemn all non-Calvinists to the fires (and me with them), expose J.I. Packer as an ecumenicist, and a friend of the blog as a compromiser.
That was just in the first 50…
The mind blowing part…each email opened with a statement of “love” for me and my work.
I’m feeling it…
The longer I walk with Jesus the less I worry about being picking the right people to hang out with.
The closer I get to the kingdom, the more friends from different theological places I meet heading in the same direction.
It’s safe to stay in our sectarian ghettos with our creeds written and unwritten.
It’s ok too…there’s no rule that says you have to come out.
Me…I need freedom.
For me, I’ve learned that because Jesus was “right” in my place, I can risk being wrong.
As Steve Brown says, I know I’m wrong about some stuff, I just don’t know which stuff.
Because He’s already made me totally secure in Him I have the freedom to try and the freedom to fail and the freedom to have friends who think differently even if we’re all wrong.
Because of Him, I can risk it all with the assurance that I will eternally lose nothing.
People aren’t safe, but He is.
Because of Jesus, I have the freedom to delete the rest of my inbox without reading any of it…and I just did.
Freedom is heady stuff… 🙂