A Sharp Dressed Christian (With Thanks to ZZ Top)

Clean shirt, new shoes

And I dont know where I am goin to.

Silk suit, black tie,

I dont need a reason why.

They come runnin just as fast as they can 

Coz every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man.


 Sharp Dressed Son Michael



Top coat, top hat,

I dont worry coz my wallets fat.

Black shades, white gloves,

Lookin sharp and lookin for love.

They come runnin just as fast as they can

Coz every girl grazy bout a sharp dressed man.


Romans 12:1-2 & Romans 13:8-14, speaks about  being “Clothed with Christ.”  When I read these passages, I think about how mixed up theology results in mixed up values.  If the theology is right, then values, morals, and ethics fall into place.

Got to thinking about this while watching my facebook newsfeed.  Saw information about a couple mega-church clergy living in $10 million dollar homes and wanted to buy a $65 million dollar private jet for his “ministry” (ahem).

Now we are all use to hearing about the excesses of the elitist ministry class, but what really got to me was the number of average Joes on my newsfeed who were defending the “prosperity gospel” that claims a divine right to wealth.

Yet JESUS (does anyone remember him anymore) was a simple Rabbi who invited people to follow him, claiming that he had no place to lay his head.

If we have a proper understand of who Christ Jesus is, and we claim to follow him, then it will lead us down the road he traveled.  That road doesn’t lead to a mansion, but a cross.

The prosperity gospel of Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar (really, that’s his name) doesn’t make room for the cross.

What was funny (in a sad sort of way) in the discussions were those who said that God has blessed these men (see how rich they are), the not so subtle implication being that the lack of wealth on the part of other clergy reveal our lack of success (our failures).

So now the metric of success is how big you church membership is, how nice your mansion is, and how classy your jet plane?

I remember a story of John’s gospel where people flocked to Jesus for another feeding miracle, but he chewed them out and sent them away empty.  Jesus metric seemed a little different than the numbers of people in the crowd or pennies in the offering plate.

He’s not just our example, though…he is our pattern, the one we imitate, the one whose path we follow by grace.  That means we are talking about identity.  Knowing who Jesus is will impact our understanding of who we are and how we live.
When he was a boy growing up in Philadelphia, Tony Campolo and his best friend devised what they considered a brilliant and creative Halloween prank – one which, by the way, they never carried out.  Their plan was to break into the basement of the local five-and-dime store.  (To explain to children and young people, that’s a mini Wal-Mart.)  They never planned to rob the store, but had they carried out their dream, it would have been far worse.

Their plan was to get into the store and change the price tags on all the merchandise. They imagined what it would be like the next morning when people came into the store and discovered that radios were marked at a quarter each and the price of hair pins had suddenly been raised to five dollars a package.  With a great deal of delight, they wondered what it would be like in the store when no one could figure out what the prices of things really should be.

In recalling his boyhood plan of Halloween mischief, Campolo said that he often thinks that the world in which we live is trying to play that trick on all of us.  At times, it appears that somebody has broken into our lives and changed the price tags—the value—attached to practically everything.

What makes matters worse it that we often play along with this malicious devilment!  We have a tendency to treat with loving care those things that are of little worth, while at the same time making great sacrifices for that which, in the ends, has no real lasting value.

It seems to me that our religious culture has caused up to switch some price tags.

Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel
by: Brian D. McLaren
publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties, published: 2006-01-29
ASIN: 0310267137
EAN: 9780310267133
sales rank: 792990
price: $1.97 (new), $0.01 (used)

How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel If you’re brave enough to take an honest look at the issues facing the culture–controlled church—and the issues in your own life—read on. Do you ever look at how the Christian faith is being lived out in the new millennium and wonder if we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing? That we still haven’t quite “gotten it”? That we’ve missed the point regarding many important issues? It’s understandable if we’ve relied on what we’ve been told to believe or what’s widely accepted by the Christian community. But if we truly turned a constructive, critical eye toward our beliefs and vigorously questioned them and their origins, where would we find ourselves? Best-selling authors Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo invite you to do just that. Join them on an adventure—one that’s about uncovering and naming faulty conclusions, suppositions, and assumptions about the Christian faith. In Adventures in Missing the Point, the authors take turns addressing how we’ve missed the point on crucial topics such as: salvation, the Bible, being postmodern, worship, homosexuality, truth, and many more.


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