Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”-Hebrews 4: 15
I recently finished listening to an audiobook detailing the spiritual journey of a Christ-follower who felt a wave of emotions as he strove for wholeness and holiness. Then I heard that line: “Jesus is not the problem. The Christians are!” Ouch! What a thing to say about the very group you are a part of.
The author, David Gushee, was recounting the ups and downs of community life and lamented how Jesus’s vision for unity and harmony had been butchered by his own apprentices over centuries. The discord and factions that we currently see are not what Jesus prayed for in the high-priestly prayer for unity in John 17. So, is Gushee correct?
My answer to that question is simply to look in the mirror. You see, it is not that difficult to see the shortcomings of any religious movement, Christianity included. If humans are involved, there will be problems, conflict and dysfunction. Fallibility produces error. Error leads to weakness. Weakness causes unhappiness. Unhappy people look for happiness elsewhere. It’s often like a journey through the wilderness.
In all of it, I have a choice in how I respond. Hard as it is, I’m trying to fix my eyes on the sacrificial lamb who offered his life in the most amazing depiction of grace that we will ever see or read about. I want to plant myself at the foot of the cross and see the love that has no limits. My hope is to be so in love with the Trinity that my own transformation becomes contagious.
Jesus’ sinless walk on this earth demands a response. Historians, even the non-religious ones, confirm that he was an authentic figure in human history. His legacy of love remains intact. It is up to his followers to present an accurate reflection of what authentic faith looks like.
Christianity will always have its problems, but its Founder stands firm, pristine and perfect.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.