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If I Wrote the Bible

If I Wrote the Bible

And they devoted themselves to church for an hour, once a week on Sunday, unless the weather was really nice, or the Vikings played early. Acts 2:42 (Scott’s Lazy Revised Version)

Most of us addicts, when introduced to all the effort required for recovery – go to treatment, attend meetings, avoid using friends, change your life – decide that we’re going to do recovery our way. That stuff all sounds like a lot of work, so we improvise. We go to a couple meetings and ignore the rest. I’m different. I don’t need all that stuff. I can stay sober my way. We see the transformation in those who’ve radically changed their lives and we want the results, but we just don’t want to go through all the effort. So, we cut corners. Then, we’re surprised when our laziness leads inevitably back to relapse.

As Christians, we often revise our faith in a similar way. In today’s passage, we’re told what the early church looked like. Every day, those followers of Christ went to the temple and gathered in their homes. They ate their meals together, devoting themselves to fellowship and the apostle’s teaching. They prayed together and sold their possessions to help those in need. The book of Acts paints a vibrant picture of what church looked like back then.

Those early Christians would probably have a hard time recognizing our version of church. Yes, we have a temple – or church building – but we go there only once a week, giving an hour to God. For most of us, the rest of our week is dedicated to ourselves. Maybe we give a little in the offering, but rarely do we give sacrificially. We bow our heads for the prayer on Sunday, but how many of us gather with other Christians during the week for study and prayer?

Like the addict who rewrites recovery for his own purpose, we’ve rewritten faith to fit more comfortably into our lives. Just as the addict who fails to pursue radical transformation doesn’t really change, we too, fail repeatedly, never really finding success in our struggles. Then, we wonder why. If we truly want to see God’s transforming power at work, we may need to stop trying to make faith fit comfortably into our lives. If we desire radical change, faith must become a way of life, not just something we do for an hour on Sunday.

 

 

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