I resign, quit, surrender


Each one of us has a way of shutting things out, a way of shutting other people out, a way of shutting God out.

 In the Hebrew Bible we read a story Joshua telling Moses to instruct Eldad and Medad to stop preaching in the camp (see Number 11:24-29).  In the Gospel (Mark 9:38-50) we see John and the other disciples telling Jesus how they came across a man driving out demons in Jesus’ name.  What had did the disciples do?  They told those men to stop, saying they were not qualified to speak because they were not one of the group.   

 The answer from both Moses and of Jesus is instructive.

 Moses replies to Joshua  “Are you jealous for my sake?  I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!

 Jesus said,   “Do not stop him.  No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.  I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

 Joshua and John sought to build walls.  To their way of thinking, there are two kinds of people in the world.  There are the “right kind of people” and there are the “wrong kind of people.”  The “right kind of people” are those on the inside – safely nestled behind the walls to keep them out and us, safe.  The “wrong kind of people” are those who are on the outside! 

 Here’s the kicker – we think we can build the walls wherever we want to!

 If you want to avoid people of color, build a wall of racial prejudice.

 If you want to avoid people with a certain moral lifestyle, build a wall of judgment and condemnation. 

 If you want to avoid poor people, build a wall of wealth and privilege.  

 If you want to avoid people who speak another language, build a wall that says, “English only.”

 If we hold the bricks and mortar, we can build walls wherever we want to in order to exclude anyone we want to avoid. 

 We become so small and frightened that we build our walls and retreat into a place of safety, a place where we believe we will not be harmed. 

 Of course, we need places of comfort, healing, and peace – a place to avoid certain struggles, a haven, and a resting place. 

 That said, the  church can never become that place of rest by closing itself off from others. 

 You know what irks me more than anything else in the ministry?  It’s those FEW people who think I need to be “the weirdo police.”  Do you know what I mean?  There are people who are “perceived” as odd, strange, or weird by some dear soul.  Maybe they dress funny!  Maybe it’s a funny tonal inflection or accent in their voice!  Maybe its some odd sort of mannerism!  It’s always something!

 People wants me to help them build walls.  Me?  My calling – that of being a Christian – is to tear down walls.

As pastor, I’m told…

 …you need to do something about him/her, they are acting strange.

Looks, if I have to be the weirdo police, I’d never get away from the mirror in the morning.  I’d spend the entire day reading “weirdo Miranda rights” to myself.  If I did manage to slip away from the mirror, then I’d have to deal with my strange kids.  (My wife’s okay, though, cause she might read this!)

We’re  all a little strange.  Some of us are a lot strange.  But the strangest people of them all are those who want ME to fix everyone else whom THEY consider strange.  The weirdest people are those who want me to help them build walls. 

 Okay, for anyone and everyone who reads this blog…I RESIGN from the position of being a member to “the weirdo police.”  I’d rather be with the weirdos.  Seems to me that Jesus, his disciples, and his very best followers were more often perceived by both church and society and a tad bit odd.  So, I want to be counted in that group.

 How about you?  Any of you weirdos want to join me?



The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today
by: Everett Ferguson
publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., published: 1997-08-06
ASIN: 0802841899
EAN: 9780802841896
sales rank: 457786
price: $21.95 (new), $18.99 (used)

The Church of Christ develops the affirmation that Christ is not complete without his people. It grounds ecclesiology in Christology and soteriology. Beginning with the Old Testament basis of the New Testament teaching about the church, the book gives a consistent correlation of Christ with the church’s nature, membership, assemblies, ministry, and life.

This is not a historical study but a doctrinal study. The aim is to present a biblical theology of the church. A doctrinal approach, however, does not mean a doctrinal scheme is imposed on the text; rather, the effort is to let the doctrinal teaching arise out of the text itself.

The systematic treatment of the topics traditionally covered in studies of the doctrine of the church are here brought together in relationship to Christ, who is seen as providing the nature of the church and of its membership and as providing not only the example for the church but also a living continuation of himself in its worship, polity, and ethics.

The “Today” in the subtitle does not imply a tailoring of biblical ecclesiology to the interests of the present, but is meant to emphasize that biblical ecclesiology is viable today; it is also an acknowledgment that the questions addressed are in part shaped by contemporary as well as historical issues in ecclesiology. In light of these considerations, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is both biblically centered and relevant to today’s world.

2 Responses to “I resign, quit, surrender”

  1. Embracing my own and my family’s weirdness is the best thing I’ve ever done. It has freed me from feeling the need to hide from people and build walls around myself. Being ‘comfortable in my own skin’ has been wonderful. Unfortunately, it puts me in the category of one of those hunted by the ‘weirdo police’!! My mom always told me that I would have to learn that those who scorn me are really losing out on knowing me – and that is so true. I try not to scorn anyone – even the weirdo police – friendliness is next to Godliness? 🙂

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