Ek-Grateia, the Way of Outer Power
American Christianity established its protesting-mythos as an experiment in preserving true religion, but she has become a bloated, undisciplined and cumbersome albatross.
For all the humming crusade of bulletin covers and emails stuffed to the gills with properties' committees’ reports, legacy-donations’ legal counsel, and reminder readings from Sir Roberts’ letter to the Romans, we are little more than the mistress of managing much ado while achieving very little in real time and space.
Or, I have been….
“That’s just the way it is,” he told me. He’d been a pastor much longer than I. He must be right, I thought. God does not call Christianity to win every engagement on every front. (That mortal error of the “Church Growth Movement” has left associated wounds all over the American Christian landscape.)
That was fourteen years ago now. But all these years later I still can’t make myself really believe it. I can’t compel myself by hook, crook or crowbar to shove this thought into the Bible I keep reading. Christians shall expect to suffer, be misundestood and maligned, and finally turned to dust by the world inherited of an unbelieving man.
But no where are we to expect to lose.
Christianity has nothing to lose.
Christianity can’t lose.
Because Christianity is the definitive reality that we (in our Lord) have already won.
American middle-class WASP culture-club masquerading as the enclave of the Holy God has been playing "not to lose" for years now. My coaches always told me, “Playing not-to-lose is the exact same thing as playing not-to-win."
Winners don’t play not to win. Winners play in order to win, with the nerve to handle losing as a cost paid to learn how to win. Believing you are going to lose before you take the field is for losers. By definition.
Champions play the hardest because they pass from believing they can win to believing they can’t lose.
And that’s you, Christian. So get out there this next six and play like you believe God is the one who said so. Because he has.
This is the first understanding of Karpos Ek-Grateia: the seizure of sensation, against sensation, by the person who believes in a power greater than sensation.
The fruit of the Spirit is … self-control.
Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
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