“When the fast, the death, the sacrifice of the gospel is omitted from the Christian life, then it isn’t Christian at all. Not only that its boring. If I just want to feel good or get self-help, I’ll buy a $12 book from Borders and join a gym. The church the Bible described is exciting and adventurous and wrought with sacrifice. It costs believers everything and they still came. It was good news to the poor and stumped its enemies. The church was patterned after a Savior who had no place to lay his head and voluntarily died a brutal death, even knowing we would reduce the gospel to a self-serving personal improvement program where people were encouraged to make a truce with their Maker and stop sinning and join the church, when in fact the gospel does not call for a truce but a complete surrender.
Jesus said the kingdom was like a treasure hidden in a field, and once someone truly finds it, he will happily sell everything he owns to possess that field. a perfect description of the fasting and the feast. It will cost everything, but it is a treasure and an unfathomable joy. This is the balance of the kingdom; to live we must die, to be lifted we bow, to gain we must lose. There is no alternative definition, no path of least resistance, no treasure in the field without the sacrifice of everything else” (Jen Hatmaker, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Access).
So I finished reading the book 7. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s tired of the same old same old and is looking for something fresh and different. It’s for those who are weary of the prevalence of consumeristic Christianity that has overtaken much of America’s churches, along with a definite trend toward style over substance.
Most of what passes for the gospel these days is either some form of sin management, self-help program, or a variation of the “I’m okay, you’re okay, everyone’s okay.” The Apostle Paul said very clearly more than once that even if he or an angel should proclaim any other kind of gospel other than the gospel of Jesus as presented and expounded upon in the writings of Paul, let him (or her) be condemned.
I was convicted in several areas about my own excesses and my bouts of self-centeredness in opposition to serving others. We in this country have the means to alleviate a lot of the world’s suffering, but we choose rather to spend on lavish buildings with the latest technologies and comforts. In other words, we’d rather spend it on ourselves.
So I’m telling you to run to your local bookstore (or your local laptop and your local amazon website) to get this book. You will not regret it.