Uncrucified Christianity

oldm7mnhdic-stefan-kunzeJesus said that if we wanted to follow him we would have to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him (Mark 8:34).  But often we are content to settle for uncrucified Christianity–a kind of Christianity that requires little and caters to us.

Uncrucified Christianity is the source of a lot of pain and frustration in the body. It causes us to see everything that God is doing through the lens of how it benefits us. It paralyzes us in our spiritual growth. It makes us ingrown and not outward focused.

You see uncrucified Christianity all around you.

People who get excited about  the prophetic promise of a spectacular ministry but never want to serve.

People who want community but never want to share someone else’s burden.

People who love Jesus but never share the gospel.

People who love Jesus but can’t be bothered to be part of a community of people who challenge them in love.

In short, uncrucified Christianity is a hot mess.

There is an answer, but it’s not fun. We all have to go back to Jesus and acknowledge that Christianity is not about us. Once we received the Kingdom of God, this became about Jesus and the Good News.

Jesus said:

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”

Mark 8:35

Most of Christianity is trying to find their life. But every attempt, no matter how noble looking on the outside, that is not us denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Jesus will inevitably end up with us losing whatever sense of fulfillment we are looking for. Even if we are seeking for it in spiritual environments.

But friends, if we give our lives away for the sake of Jesus and spreading the gospel, we will find more life than we know what to do with.  And it will transform everything we do from a selfish expression looking to boost ourselves into a spiritual expression backed by power from heaven.

That means we need to go back to the cross. Lay our pursuits there at its feet. And wait for God to tell us what to do next.

God, save us from uncrucified Christianity.

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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

7 responses to “Uncrucified Christianity”

  1. David says :

    AMEN!

  2. David Bolton says :

    Travis, your daily posts have been a great encouragement to me! You have hit the nail on the head over and over again…and you have done it again today! This aspect of “uncrucified Christianity” lies at the heart of the Lord’s desire and struggle to have HIS Church on HIS terms. It lies at the heart of the impotence and even irrelevance of the Church to meet the spiritual needs and demands of the hour we are living in. We must return to the cross…and through that, to the resurrection power and overflowing, overcoming life of Christ!

    Thank you, brother, for your faithfulness to Him and to the building up of His body. I pray that you and your family are greatly blessed in this new year!

    “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9

    Love and blessings,
    David

    • traviskolder says :

      David

      Thanks. I worried when I started posting daily (and still almost daily worry) that I’ll run out of content that will be helpful and meaningful to others. It’s nice to know that we haven’t gotten there yet.

      I so relate to your assessment of our current situation and you really hit the nail on the head when you said God is “looking for His church on His terms.” I think this is what the crucified life boils down to. Some day I want to write a post about CAWKI (church as we know it) and CAGWI (church as God wants it) because I think those two things are vastly different worlds.

      I’m so encouraged by your comment, thanks for taking the time to leave it. Blessings on you and your family in the new year, brother.

  3. Plumbline Faith says :

    Something I wrote two days ago along the same lines:

    “​The cross is where we are reconciled to Christ.

    Unfortunately, too many think it’s where Christ is reconciled to us.”

    It’s hard to conclude otherwise when in actual, functional, participatory local fellowships, isn’t it?

    It kind of helps maintain a rooted perspective on Who’s truly the center of our faith – and Who defines the terms of our faith – as we keep it real one with another.

    – Jim

    • traviskolder says :

      Jim

      I’ve seen this play out so many times in the context of rooted community. So many want community or “Acts 2” fellowships, but no one wants to bear their cross that is so necessary for that reality to flourish. And when that happens widespread in a community, the community is crushed under the weight of hyperbolized ideals. So your comments are spot on.

      I’m thankful Jesus keeps showing us the gospel–the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Jesus–is the truth that we both need to believe and walk in, otherwise we would have collapsed a long time ago.

      Thanks for swinging by.

  4. Questioner says :

    This was a really great and meaningful post for me. Thanks for saying so much so clearly at the start of this new year!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The Crucified Life Makes Room for the Spirit | Pursuing Glory - January 3, 2017

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