Most of the time, well, practically all the time, the title of this blog is spelled with an extra “t”–“Don’t be a butt!” What we usually mean by this statement (putting it nicely) is “Don’t be so critical!” “Don’t be so ignorant!” “Don’t be so mean!” “Don’t be so judgmental!” “Don’t be so stinky!” Well, that’s not the word I’m using, but the meanings could be applied to my thoughts today. So be forewarned, I could become offensive. And if this post doesn’t offend you, keep reading future posts because I will get around to you in due time.
No, I am thinking about a certain passage that has this left-handed right-side-brain pastor with some more musings about The Kingdom of God. The passage is Luke 9:57-62 and it sounds like this from The Message:
57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59 He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Most of the time we “backwards collar types” (that means preachers for the uninformed) use this passage to talk to those who are “lost” and need to make a decision for Jesus right now. And the Grace Pharisees like to use it in the same way. What? Grace Pharisees? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Sounds like it, but there is a new Pharisee in town, actually in the church, who feel it is their duty to determine who is worthy of Grace. Ain’t that a hoot! Worthy of Grace! They must have fallen out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Oops, I may have just offended someone. Oh well, if the shoe fits…
Today, I want to apply this passage to the Churchians and the Tenured Pew Sitters. Only someone who has their head buried in sand cannot see that the Western Church is in serious trouble, which is what inspired me to even start this blog. In all fairness to the Churchians and the Tenured Pew Sitters, I do believe that they want to see this downward spiral (because it has become more than a trend) stop and reversed to significant growth. They sincerely want to see the sanctuary full every Sunday. They want to see every classroom in use and full of Sunday School students of all ages. They want to see more programs and more than enough volunteers to handle a myriad of ministries. They want to see people outside their church oohing and aahing over all that’s happening at their facilities; so much so that they will just rush in to join and be a part of it. BUT…
- But don’t change anything as it is now
- But make it like it was in 1960
- But don’t make me give up what I like
- But don’t ask me to get out of my comfort zone
- But don’t expect me to do it
- But don’t fill this place up with all “those” people
- But don’t expect me to fast and pray
- But make it easy
- But don’t make me give up my sin because it’s not all that bad
- But give us a pastor and staff who can be successful doing it our way
- But, but, but, but….(can you think of other “buts”? Add them to the comments below)
Some may think I’ve gone on out a limb, a very thin and fragile limb, this time. BUT there are those comments by Jesus: “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” And “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Did you find it? God’s Kingdom! You cannot add a “but” to God’s Kingdom. Either He rules completely over your life, your activities and your congregation or He doesn’t rule. In which case, it is no longer God’s Kingdom in your congregation, but YOUR social club.
Do not be a BUT! Jesus is right! (Isn’t He always?) Our business is life and it is urgent! So seize the day! Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure that all the glory goes to Him!