Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I'm grabbing the following off of Mockingbird.  My favorite blog.  HT to the AZ for the great post.

Mockingbird is such a prolific and thought provoking site that I have trouble reading all the posts, but this one grabbed my attention because it includes one of the most unlikable confusing intriguing Christians ... I'm having trouble describing this guy... out there.

And I like Christian characters.  Remember, I'm crazy for Ted Haggard.  I've walked in to almost every Christian denomination under the sun.  From Catholic mass to a year at a Baptist children's home to a Four Square Gospel (read charismatic) church.  I've sat rows from Ross Perot on Easter morning to sitting next to a man high, and snoring through the service.  From high to low.  From left to right. And they are all beautiful insomuch as they know themselves for who they are (losers, losing, lost) and praise Jesus who has saved them all.

No matter what flavor you like best, the essence of Christianity is very simple.  Christ died for our shortcomings and overcame death so that we may live.

So back to our Mockingbird post.  This is NOT what Christianity is about:
From the current Vanity Fair interview with Joel Osteen, the mega-pastor of America's largest church:
“Have you ever sinned?”

“Oh, sure,” [Osteen] answered surprisingly. “I’m sure I have. I mean, I think we’ve all sinned, so I can’t say that I’ve never … ” He looked suddenly bashful. “I’ve never done anything you’d call ‘terrible.’ I haven’t done drugs. Victoria’s the only girl I’ve ever dated.” Victoria, his glamorous wife of 22 years, is also a pastor. “I’m probably squeaky clean—I don’t have to say it,” Mr. Osteen added.

Joel, you have it wrong this Good Friday.

Today, we specifically remember the trial, torture, and execution of our Lord Jesus.  He willingly endured the most gruesome suffering and death so that we wouldn't have to.

In contemplating WHY Jesus died.  WHY he didn't just save himself, as some suggested.  WHY the death had to be so ugly.  WHY it had to be this way.  I think of all the ugliness in myself.  The ugliness--the deception, the racism, the selfishness, you name it--in and around me that had to be taken on.

He had to die an ugly death because we are that ugly.

I'm sorry, Joel, but you are the most disconnected, out of touch man.  And the sooner you realize you are not squeaky clean, the sooner you will know the sweet, sweet love of Jesus.

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