Pete Greig, one of the founders of 24-7 Prayer shared the following reflection as a series of posts on Twitter on 21 May this year. Bishop James used it at the recent Bishop’s roadshow (I found it by searching for Pete Greig and ‘clutter of Christianity’). It certainly encourages us to reflect on faith and life creatively:
“Can I be honest with you? I’m actually not into prayer. I’m into Jesus, so we talk.
I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I ask for his help. A lot.
I’m not into evangelism. I hate evangelism! I’m into Jesus. So I talk to people about him.
I’m not into social justice. I’m into Jesus. So I find myself picking fights with his enemies.
I’m not into worship – all those soft rock songs, over and over again – I’m into Jesus. So when I see him I smile. I bow. And yes, OK I admit that I sing quite a bit too.
I’m not into church (you seen the state of it?) I’m into Jesus, so I like his people. (They’re a little weird, but so am I!)
THE VISION IS JESUS. Not Christianity. Not rules and religion. Not prayer, mission and justice. Not church planting, miracles or mission. Just Jesus.
If you love Jesus I guess you’ll do all that stuff: you’ll pray and worship, go to church, preach the gospel, but in doing the stuff, we can so easily forget why. In all the clutter of Christianity we can bury Christ.
Some of us need to stop being Christians for a bit – we’re just too good at it. It’s become habitual.
Urgent voices call us to abandon the familiar comforts of Christianity to strike out into the unknown and rediscover Christ.
We are over familiar with holy things. We talk to God. He talks back. We claim to have an actual living, conversational, interactive relationship with the Creator of the cosmos. No middle ground. You’re insane or a saint.
Jesus was so uninterested in starting a religion he never thought of a name for his way of life, never wrote a book, barely stuck around long enough to secure succession. The way of Jesus is viral not structural, relational not religious, revolutionary not predictable.”
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of faith” Heb 12:2
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” Phil.3:8
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ & him crucified.” 1 Cor2:2