Sunday, July 01, 2007

Christi-anarchy "being the change you want to see"

Dave Andrews hosted the morning session on Saturday, and it was the best message on the Sermon on the mount that I have ever heard.

He started talking about judging, and showed how we actually are to judge both ourselves and the actions of others, but doing so realizing we will be judged by the same measure. And then began to unpack the sermon on the mount Matthew 5-7 as an ethical framework for how we are to live in the kingdom of God.

The problem with so much of how we have interpreted this sermon, is based on an incorrect reading of the text. This incorrect reading has made Jesus' teaching here, seem impractical, and therefore must be talking about heaven, or some spiritual ideal. However Dave showed us very convincingly that a proper reading of the text will help us to understand how we are to live in a redemptive way.

In the incorrect reading we see Jesus contrast the old way, (the law and tradition), with the new way (Jesus' more complete teaching). But this is where we wind up in trouble as it seems impractical. ie you have heard it said do not murder (old way) but I say if you are angry with your brother, or call him names, you are still in danger of judgement (new way). So this seems completely impractical, how are we to not be angry or have disagreements with our brothers. Those of us who live in close community know exactly how impossible this seems.

But Dave shows us that this is not the way to understand this teaching, it is not the old way versus the new way, but is rather laid out this way: The old way

The repeating cycles that even adherence to the old way doesn't fix

directives for living in a redeemed world.

So we have the old way: Do not murder

But then Jesus points out: But even if you don't murder, you still have anger, and hatred and unredeemed relationships, so the root of the problem doesn't get dealt with.


Jesus instructions for how to live: If you are offering your religious duties and realize that you and your brother or sister are in conflict, forget your worship for now, go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then be reconciled with God.


Do not commit adultery


burning with lust doesn't allow us to live a life transformed


remove yourself from temptation

Now this was a very quick para phrase of what Dave explained, so if I did damage to the integrity of the message, I welcome correction. And please feel free to join in some conversation over this. Dave also talked about how important the beatitudes are and suggested it might be the stimulus for a renewal movement in our own lives. You can learn more at



Anonymous said...

The commentary on the differening ways of viewing the teaching of Jesus makes for an interesting obvservation in itself.

Do you think that Jesus sometimes intenionally hid the underlying meaning of his message? Also, is there the possibility that some cultural meaning of the teaching has been lost over time and we have more difficulty in figuring it out today, 2000 years later?

Now the nature of the teaching presented in this post isn't unique to Jesus. The approach of getting your own mind right first was recommended long before Jesus appeared on the scene. What new slant did Jesus put on it?

James said...

A genuine follower of Christ cannot sin. In 1 John 3 we read that "No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

Your experiences, as described, indicate that you have neither seen or known Christ.

I pray that one day God will open your eyes and you may come to know the true Christ.

Anonymous said...

1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.