September 3, 2008

Silly Shirts - Part 3

There are so many terrible ‘christian’ shirts out there.  As some of you may have seen the collection that Zach left for us in yesterdays comments…some are plain scary.  Some are very laughable.  And then there are the ones that belittle and demean the worth our of Savior.  

If you listen to or read John Piper at all you will be familiar with this idea.  One of the problems of our faith can be when we only value Jesus as our way to heaven. It is wrong when we think about Jesus’ death for us and all we think is, “Awesome!  Heaven!  No hell!!!”  While this is true, what do we deem to be the reward here?  Heaven?  Only heaven? Not going to hell? Maybe it is eternal life? But then what do we define eternal life as?  I hope we define it as what Jesus defines it as in John 17:3.  That we get to know God!!!!   We value Heaven because Jesus is there.  If He isn’t there, would we still want it?

If you read, God is the Gospel by Piper, you will get a greater grasp on this.  Do we really savor Christ  as the object of our faith OR do we savor the gifts that he has given us?  Do we view Jesus as a means to an end or as Jesus being the end Himself? Do we know that glorious gift of our salvation is being with Jesus? Jesus is the reward.  Or as Piper would say, “Do we view Him as a ticket?” 

What’s the problem with a ticket?

When you go to the movies, do you prize the ticket? Do you tell your friends about the ticket?  Do you enjoy and love the ticket? Do you give your all for the ticket? Do you thank the ticket? And, it is works based as well. I had to buy the ticket!!! Salvation is the free gift of God to all who believe! Hopefully you see the problem. No one cares about the ticket!!!! (unless you are OCD and collect Star Wars stuff.) What do we do with the ticket?  We throw it away and think, “Ok..I am in.  Now what?”   Now what!?  Now…you are to savor and love Jesus and worship Him.  

News:  That’s what the angels are doing in Heaven, and its the picture we see in Revelation. One of everyone around the throne singing to the Lamb, “Worthy are You!!!!”  If you do not enjoy that now, what will you do in Heaven?    

Is Jesus the ticket?  Yes and no.  The problem is reductionism.  We can’t reduce it to that.  Another problem is with making analogies.  Let’s try to stay as close to Scripture as we can.  Let’s get our minds around the I AM statements first.  Jesus is the Door.  That will do just fine.  

Should we preach turn or burn?  Yes. John the Baptist did (Matt. 3). But we have to show them the beauty of what they ought to turn to.  The radiance of the glory of God that is in the face of Jesus Christ!!!!  It is not God glorifying to not want to get punished.  A toddler knows that. Toddler’s respond in fear, not so much in love. “There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear. The one who fears is not perfected in love, because fear involves punishment. We love because He first loved us.” - 1 John 4:18-19.

I love our Father’s gifts.  But, we are to love Him more. 

All of that to say….sigh.  Here is shirt #3.  This one makes me sad a little bit. 


What do you think?

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