Skip to main content

[the book of Acts] : and why it has me uncomfortable

photo credit
i'm the type of girl who is usually doing some sort of Beth Moore study [like right now, i'm doing Breaking Free]. i read the portions of the Bible that she tells me to read, in the context of what she's trying to teach. don't get me wrong, this is totally wonderful and so useful [and let's face it, she's the best. so, who can blame me, right?] but my goodness, when you actually sit down and read the Bible for yourself with no context, just to get the facts... it messes with you. have you ever read through the book of Acts in its entirety? well, i'm about half way through and it has me uncomfortable. it says things like:

"all the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." [2:44-45]

"... from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." [4:35]

after being brought before the Sanhedrin under false accusation, being questioned, and then flogged... "the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." [5:41-42]

the disciples traveled around the region preaching the gospel. they stayed in anyone's house who would take them. they were driven out of cities and escaped from others before being killed. they were stoned and beaten. they were definitely hated and met with much opposition.... and they rejoiced in it, because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. if that isn't convicting [and kind of inspiring], i'm not sure what is.

how come our "version" of Christianity isn't like that? how come our American, suburban, middle-class version of Christianity is so vastly different than what the early Christians practiced? i know, cultures change and times change... but really, what ever happened to good old-fashioned selling everything and wandering from town-to-town in the power of the Holy Spirit, changing lives and preaching the gospel? whatever happened to just plain opening your mouth and sharing the Good News with someone you just met? sparing some change, buying some food? dare i say it- opening your home? and let's not even mention being persecuted in any way. we don't even want people to think badly of us, let alone try to kill us or injure us. imagine actually rejoicing in this, counting it as a privilege.

CS Lewis suggests in Mere Christianity that  if we actually lived like Christ, it would look much different than the society we now live in. our capitalism, our gross materialism, our selfishness, none of it fits in with Christ's message of self-sacrifice and unconditional love. he almost argues that we don't really care what it looks like to be a Christ-like Christian. "Most of us are not really approaching the subject in order to find out what Christianity says: we are approaching it in the hopes of finding support from Christianity for the views [we already hold]. We are looking for an ally when we are offered either a Master or a Judge." that's convicting, huh? i think that's why David Platt, the author of Radical, challenges his readers to read through the whole Bible.... because we'll probably be surprised by what it actually says. we'll be uncomfortable reading through the book of Acts. 

i would challenge you: after praying for the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His Word, open up your Bible and start reading. it doesn't really matter where, but start at the beginning of a book [why not Acts?]. i promise you won't get very far without being challenged, and hopefully changed.


Popular posts from this blog

hope spoken 2014 | a little recap

well. it feels weird to be back here in this space. i haven't regularly blogged for over a year. i'm feeling like it's time for a redesign but that's beside the point. i'm really here to tell you about Hope Spoken conference that i attended in dallas 2 weekends ago. everyone has been saying how they need time to process everything. i'm no exception. what i'm about to share is really an email i wrote to casey and danielle a few days after i got home, but i've edited and expanded a little. there is still so much more in my heart and mind that's not quite ready to come out:

i'm finally sitting down to pour out my heart after such an amazing weekend. the first thing that's hitting me is these three girls went with a dream and a mission and a calling from Jesus, and were brave to walk through the door and keep going, as danielle describes it. i'm sure they imagined how beautiful it would be but i don't think they could have imagined just …

the idol self-sufficiency

"O God of mine, I'll have no idols..." played over Pandora. "O God of Mine", an old song by Rita Springer, is a beautiful hymn-like melody with soothing vocals and peaceful piano music. deep in thought, as i always am, i was struggling with feelings of fear and shame that had been pulling me under the last few months. i'm determined to be free from its grip, so i'm digging in to find the roots and i'm arming myself with Truth and with practical tools. as that phrase sang form the speakers, it just flickered across my mind -- the idol of self sufficiency. i had never named it before, but i finally understood it as a huge aspect of my struggle with fear and a huge aspect of the burden of shame that i carry. (i wrote a little bit about that here)

now you're thinking i must be a planner, a doer, and get-things-done kind of gal. you're thinking i must run a pretty tight ship, i must be type-A.

and you'd be wrong. self-sufficiency is a idol f…

because He became a man

recently i had one of those days where my to-do list consisted of six different super-quick errands. seems simple enough to most people. before kids you could knock them all out in less than an hour and go about your day. but with kids, forget about it. you dread the outing for two days and put it off until you have no more food or toothpaste and your husband is wondering about the dry-cleaning and the alterations.

when you have to strap and unstrap three kids into their carseats for six different super-quick errands, it's a whole new kind of monster. it takes longer to get them in and out of the car than the amount of time we actually spend inside the post office, or the dry cleaner, or the bank. multiply that by six and we're all going crazy.

truly, there needs to be a drive-through dry cleaner, drive through full-service post office window, drive through banking (not just ATM but actually denominations-other-than-twenty banking), and a drive-up pre-order Target service woul…