Thursday, September 28, 2017

Complex part 5: Passion

The word passion often has a negative connotation attached to it in the church. Unless it is Easter time, then we attach the word to Christ. So why in the world do we freely accept the concept in this singular context without question? Yet categorically condemn it in every other context, also without question. Granted, many so-called "normal" passions that we gravitate to the most can have many consequences. That in itself does not mean that we can't be passionate about positive and constructive things. Although many are assuming, righteousness is the same as being dispassionate.

I contend that the reason for the decline of numbers in the church is the result of a lack of passion. How do we honestly expect people to live with purpose and commit to the work of the church without sincere passion? If we assume all passions are bad, then we end up killing our own heart in an attempt to be holy. That is definitely not what Jesus meant by denying self. (Matthew 12:35, 22:37) Not only that, when we end up applying this all or nothing notion about passion, it will fall on the "fruits of the spirit" as well. Which will make us guilty of quenching the spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19) So all our efforts will end up being puny and powerless, since they are only done legalistically, and not with sincere passion from the heart.

We need to move past such simplistic notions about passions, and seek the more complex notion of discerning the difference between passions of the flesh, and passions of the spirit. (Galatians 5) Otherwise, the church will continue to die a slow stoic death.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24

The Visual PARABLEist

A person trying to drive a very large nail with a tiny hammer
click to enlarge

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