I was talking with Rob Bell the other day, and I asked him if it was weird that people treat him like a celebrity.

He replied “we’re all just a bunch of brothers.”

Which got me to thinking about this terminology.

The New Testament does this rather odd thing where when referring to other believers, or fellow believers, they quite often say “brother.” or “sister.”

In fact it makes us think and believe that we are all brothers and sisters, once we become children of God.

But I don’t feel like that.

I grew up in a very open family.  And by open, I mean we fought a lot.

My siblings and I would fight daily over the stupidest things.  But out of that comes this honesty like no other.  I would also say that between my brother, my sisters, and I there is a closeness like no other.  I think its kind of like that feeling of going to war with people.  We had to deal with the same rules and stipulations, and crazy things happening in our lives usually affect all of us.

If two people are a child of God, then that would make them siblings. Thus why or where we get this terminology, even though we’re not literally brother and sister.

But literally we are brother and sister.

Because I think that the God side of things matters more than the biological side of things.

I have this idea.

It’s crazy.

Here goes.

What if every time we met a believer, a child of God if you will, we would treat them like a brother or a sister.

O SNAP.

Wouldn’t that be great?

I think so.  I don’t always see that happen though.  We are all too afraid of each other as people, and we get too afraid to treat a brother like a brother. Or a sister like a sister.  Even I am wary of other people I meet that claim to be believers.

The next time I meet a fellow child of God, I am gonna treat them like a brother I never met before.  I really want to do that. Even writing this now, I am thinking in my head, I probably won’t.  But I want to so bad. So hopefully by God’s grace I will.

Will you join me? Will you join me in not only treating new believers you meet as siblings, but also the current siblings you meet?  Are you willing to call your siblings out on their crap? Are you willing to let them call you out?  Are you willing to be around them so much you want to punch them in the face.  Are you willing to let them borrow your stuff only to have it break?  Are you willing to take the home made gifts they make you for Christmas?

I’m willing.

Christian Compliments.

February 8, 2010

Person 1: Hey, I just wanted to tell you, you are my favorite worship leader, I’ve seen you grow so much in the last few years.

Person 2:Why thank you but it really is just God that is doing it in me.

or

Person 1: I think you’re doing a great job loving (insert name) here, its really cool and refreshing to see.

Person 2: Well you know I just really feel like God has really filled me with love for that person. Its not me.

If you are Christian. And hang out with a lot of other Christians, you have probably been involved in a conversation like this in some way.

What happens is someone gives a compliment. Then the complimentee says something basically like it’s God’s fault I’m this awesome.

Whenever I get complimented I wanna react, and quite often do by saying God is really doing something in me.

Half the time it’s because I really know that that’s the case. And the other half the time it is because I know that’s the case and that’s what I am supposed to say.

It’s funny because if people didn’t react this way, we would probably think something like “well look at the arrogant pharisee that doesn’t hand his compliments to God.”

And the best part is I always react this way when receiving the compliment but when I am the one giving the compliment and the person does the “it’s God’s fault thing” I’m think in my head, true but just let me compliment you.

My favorite way of encountering this was in Nogales, Mexico.  There was a pastor in Mexico who was amazing.  He was non-stop doing things for God, and not in a pharisee way, but in way that loved God, and let God use him.

So one time when I was around him I gave him some kind of compliment like you are doing some great things here, you’re my hero and what not.

And he just shrugged and didn’t respond.  He barely even shrugged in fact.  I would have thought he had not heard me if it wasn’t for that small minute shrug.

This man was a humble.  Although it perplexed me for many days after, I realized the way he took compliments was much like a meek and humble man would.  Not humility born out of obligation of knowing we should be humble and give all the glory to God, but simply because he let God make him more and more humble everyday.

It’s kind of a funny limbo thing, Christian compliments.  It feels weird (not always of course) to give them a complinent when they react that way, and we a lot times react that way because we know it’s true.

So you wanna be like Jesus?

February 3, 2010

I don’t know if you really do.

Seriously.  I bet you don’t.  You say you wanna live by the Spirit, but you are to busy on facebook or writing a blog.

You say you wanna love people, but you love honking your horn when the car in front of you won’t drive out into the intersection for a left turn.

Or you just have to write that person a bad review, or argue with that teacher, or you just gotta complain about that Barista that was rude to you.

Okay.  I have probably been guilty of doing all those things in some fashion.  Except the last one. I don’t drink coffee.

But in my life I hear the phrase “let’s be like Jesus.” or “what would Jesus do.” or ” I wanna be just like Jesus.”

How often though do we meet people really trying to live like Jesus?

If we met someone walking around Phoenix, or New York, or wherever, and he had twelve dudes with him that he was pouring into, we would think that dude is crazy and those dudes are crazy for following him.

If we met someone that walked around and said I trust God to provide all my needs therefore I don’t own a home, or stay in one place(unless God was telling them different), we would also think that person is crazy.

If we met someone who was always seeking God, and hung out with prostitutes, gays, drug addicts and telemarketers, we would not join his cause, no matter how much truth he spoke.

Actually some of us would.

But quite often when I challenge people to live how Jesus lived or how the early Christians did, I get a response like that was a different culture.  Or things are different now.

Yeah things are different.  There are more sinners in the world.

That just means we should (as Christians) live seemingly even more righteous.

We don’t live counter-culturally.  We want a big or decent sized house.  We want a family.  We want to live out where no one else is.  We want to draw closer to God without interacting with others.  We make practical choices rather than spirit led choices.  We want to be get a high paying job.

So do you really wanna be like Jesus? I mean really?  Then why aren’t we living like He did? Because it’s too crazy? Or because he’s God and we’re not? Those are stupid answers.

This blog doesn’t go out to everyone.  I am constantly meeting true disciples of Christ who do live counter culturally.   And I love it.  They are some of the most inspiring people in the world.  And it’s the kind of counter culture that serves and loves the current culture.  I love that.  I love true disciples.  Let’s eat with prostitutes.  Let’s eat with liars and fakes and haters and posers.  Let’s really live like Jesus. Not just in theory.  But in practice.