This past Sunday I used part of this Will Willimon piece. The quote I found helpful to describe how we must not neglect intentional means to follow Jesus,

The immediate problem that confronts is that our church is
accommodationist. Even though we know that there is a strong, critical
strain in Wesleyanism against the evils of â??Ã?úriches,â??Ã?ù we quickly learned
in this society that there is no way to be a successful, responsible,
public church, without submitting to the political vision that says
that there is no greater purpose of human community than accumulation
and aggrandizement.

For this reason, the â??Ã?úuser friendlyâ??Ã?ù
approach to church wonâ??Ã?ôt work. There is no way to entice people off the
streets with hymns that are based on advertising jingles and end up
with the cross-bearing, self-sacrificial, burden-bearing Jesus.
Evangelism cannot be based upon our basic selfishness (â??Ã?úCome to Jesus
and get everything you want fixed.â??Ã?ù) and end up with anything
resembling historic Christianity.

One of the reasons why Church
is difficult is that the modern media culture (a culture which has no
other purpose than giving us what we want, since â??Ã?úgetting what we wantâ??Ã?ù
is the main purpose of life) has been so successful in forming us into
such consumers.

In the middle of a sermon I said, â??Ã?úIf you bring
a child into this church, say a child of four or five, that child will
have a difficult time during the service. Church does not come
naturally. The child will have to be trained to sing this music, to
bend his life toward these stories, to pay attention to that which he
quite naturally avoids. If you take that same child into Toys R Us, no
training is necessary. Greed comes to us quite naturally. After all,
this is America.â??Ã?ù

But then I caught myself in mid-sentence, and
said, â??Ã?úNo, thatâ??Ã?ôs not quite fair to Toys R Us. Billions have been
spent, and our very best talent expended, in forming that child into
the habits of consumption. Barney is not innocent.â??Ã?ù

Our natural tendencies war against those formative features of following Jesus and we must be diligent to resist the clutches of whatever keeps us from faithful following.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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