"They stirred up the crowd . . ." Acts 17:8
When our beliefs, principles, and theology do not produce discipleship, then our holiness is an illusion. And the searching world has no time for more illusions, they have enough already.
The Christian community does not disturb our world. The cross is as commonplace as a pierced earring or diamond encrusted necklace. Christian commerce has turned the unspeakable act of Golgotha into sentimental pieces of art. It has domesticated the Lord of glory, turned Him into a tame symbol to be placed on a coffee cup.
But when the crucified risen Lord comes to life in the heart where He is meant to be in the first place, instead of remaining an icon, Jesus delivers us over to the fire He came to light within us. He creates more havoc than all the heretics. Jesus demands nothing less than placing our egos on the cross, only then will we be capable of truly upsetting the world.
We are released to go and turn the world upside down, to upset its lethargic complacency, upset its social and economic status quo, upset its conscience, upset its prejudice ways, upset moral indifference, upset smug self-satisfaction. In our upsetting, we are never to be unbecoming.
The only people who have ever creatively upset the world have been those who dearly loved the people they were trying to upset. Too often the church fails in its mission to upset, because they have despised and scorned the very people they were trying to reach.
Paul understood the art of the upset. He upset people with his preaching, but side-by-side with His words of judgment were tender words of affection and trust. He spoke sharp piercing words, but He also established them by setting then firmly upon the great foundations of God’s love in Christ. It's through the Spirit of Christ working in cooperation with a responsive disciple that brings about such an overwhelming change in the world.
How do others experience your faith in Christ?