Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Traveling Power

Islam is making inroads into new-to-it areas of the world, but it is still pretty much concentrated in the Middle East. Buddhism has an affiliate office in Hollywood, of course, but it is still chiefly localized in the Far East. Ditto Confucianism. Hinduism mainly resides in India. There are more Jews in America than in Israel, but they are only 2.2% of the American population. They are 75% of the population in Israel. Only Christianity -- begun by Jews localized in Jerusalem, later dominated by Greeks in the Mediterranean world, then centralized in Europe, then North America, and now, in terms of sheer numbers, "centralized" in China, Africa, and Latin America -- has corporately gone on a global walkabout.

There are religions in the world that compel a woman to travel hundreds of miles to kiss a statue, a man to walk across a wilderness to bathe in a sacred river, men and women alike to crawl on their hands and knees. Every Muslim who is able must visit Mecca once before they die. It is required.

There are no compulsory pilgrimages in Christianity, no far-flung hoops to jump through. The pilgrimage has been made; God incarnated in man. He comes to us in Spirit.

Every religion beside the true one bids travel for power. In Christianity, power travels to us.
The kingdom is not "out there." It is "in here."
The temple is not "there." It's "here."
Christ tabernacles with us.
The gospel that goes into the world and grows and bears fruit goes into the world when we do.

Because every real Christian has the true gospel, every real Christian is at salvation equipped for mission work.

Have gospel, will travel. Christ goes where we go.

From poet Gerard Manley Hopkins's "As Kingfishers Catch Fire":
I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is--
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.
Christ plays in ten thousand places! Yes!

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."
-- Isaiah 52:7


BiF said...

Amen and amen!

Andrew said...

So true. Christianity has done something that every Utopian idealists has dreamed of for centuries. Out of all the religions in the world, out of all the philosophies, ideologies, political systems, none has even come close. Christianity crosses racial barriers, nationalities, social classes, and the like. It is timeless, unifying, strong...and they hate us for it. Jesus Christ can certainly build a church!

Kurt Juergens said...

Well said.

salguod said...

Wow. How awesome is that!?

Farming Family said...

Thank you God Bless Now!

Bird said...


Kind of gave my heart a little flutter reading that.

Philip said...

Amazing Amazing Amazing post.


Really cool thought and a different perspective. I have never thought of that before. Right now I'm teaching a class on Judaism, Christianity and Islam for non-believers. So I'm really living with this stuff. (Comparing the three) But I'd never seen this before.

Now I gotta figure out how I can use this. (I think I know how my students would argue with me though. They'd talk about all the Christians who take "pilgramages" to the Holy Land.

There are many who claim the name "Christian" who hurt the message of this post by their actions, I think.