Uber blogger Michael Spencer, a.k.a. internetmonk, regularly sets a standard for thoughtful posts. He has done it again. Tellingly he relays the story of a young lady whose parents encourage her to give up her commitment to follow Jesus out of the States. The nexus of their concern is her security, safety and future. Planted in the middle of the post iMonk writes,
I’m not in anyone’s face over this, but I don’t get Jesus AND the American Dream. Some people do. Great. I don’t.
You must read the entire piece to find the truly prophetic in these words. Go there now, read not another word on this site. Then come back and give me your thoughts about life and faith in our community.
4 comments on “iMonk Hated by Suburban Jesus!”
Thanks for the tip. I’ve been working through Matthew with our small Wednesday night gathering. Just last night Jesus said, “Do not be anxious about your life . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . .” You know the drill.
I think Michael has it spot on about the propensity that Americans have to get caught up in the American Dream instead of being caught up in the kingdom we claim to belong to. It’s why I try not to join in singing the choruses of God and country, God and family, God and (fill in the blank).
Glad you found iMonk helpful. I would make him a regular read were I you. Paul, my brother, once commented there are some bloggers who are able to express better what he is thinking he wonders why blog – Michael is one of those writers for me. And yet, I blog on. 🙂
Man, great stuff. I took him out of my google reader 6 months ago and really can’t remember why. Glad I didn’t miss this one.
Some great and very valid points for sure. I’m in the camp of people who are beginning to realize that the load of crap I’ve been taught for 35+ years as being “gospel” really has little to do with the good news Jesus came to bring. Now I have a heart to give much and am unable to give like I should/would because of my spending habits and chasing the “American Dream” – make more, spend more, have more.
As you know, I felt the need recently to leave megachurch.teevee and go in search of something more genuine, more sustainable, and more true to what I now believe to be God’s calling on the life of a believer. This quote hit the nail on the head for me:
“What I donâ??t have to do in my ministry is constantly delete sections of the teaching of Jesus and of the New Testament from my Bible. I may not fulfill it, but I can read it and know itâ??s the real deal in my life.”
I pray God will open more eyes to the reality that they are following, in your words to me one time, “an incomplete gospel”. That was a nice way of saying it. Michael worded it this way:
“Hey, I understand what parents go through. I feel their pain. I really do. But that letter told me, once and for all, that I had been right all those years ago, and Iâ??m still on target today when I feel this way. Suburban Christianity is frequently not about an honest following of Jesus. Itâ??s about an edited, reworked Jesus who blesses the American way of life and our definition of normal and happy.”
One last thought before I go….one of the things that keeps me from being completely dismayed about the entire situation is the belief that God will use where we currently are to get us to a better/closer relationship with Him. Brian McLaren put is this way, when speaking of some who are following the prosperity gospel, “They are closer to the truth now than before.” The idea there was that God could take each heart from where they are now and lead them out into a healthier faith. I think we are all living testimonies of that to some degree.
May God continue to grant us grace, humility and wisdom in discerning His truth.
Charity is a gift. You gave readers a good look at just how to view those following Jesus who fail from different perspectives. Would be good if more could find that their own practice.