Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ
I'm digging into one of the most eagerly anticipated books this year. The author is no stranger to the Organic Church movement. Frank Viola authored "Pagan Christianity" and "Reimagining Church". Now Frank draws our attention to WHO should be the center of our attention. Here's just a sample from the Introduction of "Jesus Manifesto". Frank builds from the foundation of "The Ultimate Question", which is Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?":
Jesus Himself said that when He is lifted up, He will draw all people to himself. But because we don't trust Jesus to do what He says He will do, or believe that He is who He says He is, or have not caught a glimpse of His infinite glory, we sit at drawing boards and draw up programs and methods and draft strategies that we hope might bring people to Christ. But Jesus could not have been clearer: the only begotten Son of God is the draw. Our mission is simply to lift Him up in a context that our culture can understand and appreciate. Whenever this happens, the rest will take care of itself.
Unfortunately, "Who do you say that I am?" is no longer the only question. "What are you doing to bring in the kingdom of God?" is now an equally asked question, as is "What are you doing for justice?" and "In what causes are you engaged?" Or "What are you doing to evangelize the world?" and "To whom are you accountable?" and "What's your gift?" And especially, "What kind of leader are you?"
Yet Jesus quizzed Peter with one ultimate question, and only one. And that one decisive question is the same one He asks us today.
It is not, "Are you ready to accept leadership status in My church?"
It is not, "How many people did you lead to Me?"
It is not, "Have you spoken in tongues yet?"
It is not, "Is leadership your passion?"
It is not, "To whom will you be accountable?"
It is not, "Are you doing better than the best you can do so God will be happy with you?"
And it is not, "Will you surround yourself with people who have leadership potential and will make you look good?"
The question is only this; "Do you love Me?"
What does Jesus want from us? Leadership? Or love? Unfortunately, we cannot properly love Him if we haven't caught sight of how incredibly glorious He is. But once we do - once we catch a sighting of Jesus Christ in all His glory - we will gladly exchange our dusty rites, Christian-speak, and pop-culture church-building tactics for the joy of becoming a walking, breathing "Jesus Manifesto."