Sunday, February 15, 2015

Building the Perfect Christian

Everyone knows the Frankenstein story, right? A mad scientist seeks to create a perfect human being by reanimating body parts gathered from dead people- and it all goes wrong. Suppose you could take the DNA from some of the greatest Christians you know in a quest to build a perfect Christian. What traits would you want to include? There would need to be solid theology and a commitment to the spiritual disciplines. Certainly you would want the knowledge of a great Biblical scholar, someone who not only knows scripture but is fluent in Greek and Hebrew as well. You would want the gift of evangelism from someone like Billy Graham, whose heart is broken by the lost. You would want the golden voice of one of the great communicators of the faith who could speak words of encouragement and wisdom to everyone they encountered. Perhaps a gene for counselling should be included, along with the gift of song to help the world sing praise to the LORD. I would include a desire to care for the downtrodden and impoverished just as Jesus did.  And the wisdom of Solomon would be a welcome addition as well. This lab creation, a sort of Christian Frankenstein, would be the ultimate leader in our search to complete the Great Commission.

One of my very favorite movies is Young Frankenstein. In that flick, the man becomes a monster because Igor brings the his boss the brain of "Abby Normal" instead of the brilliant brain he requested. Our creation would fare no better. You see, scripture tells us that if we created a specimen with all of the attributes listed above, it would be a failure. Even with all of those gifts, all of that knowledge and wisdom, it could not communicate the true nature of Jesus to this hurting world. Why not? Because we left out the one ingredient that our creation cannot survive without. I'll let Paul tell you...

1 Corinthians 13: 1-7 (The Message)- If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 

So here's the deal- we can know more, experience more and be gifted more than any other Christian walking this planet, but if we don't have the overwhelming, radical, passionate and forgiving love of Jesus in our hearts, then we still don't get it. We are indeed like Frankenstein, imposing and overbearing, with nothing real to offer the world.  Theology and public piety will not win hearts for Christ. Love will. There is no such thing as a perfect Christian. But a reflection of God's love and grace in this hurting world? Yeah...we can do that.

Because of Jesus,

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