A few months ago I was up on a roof in Hong Kong listening to Andrew
Shearman preach his guts out to our January 07 Racers for one final
time. It was an appropriate venue to talk about
Shearman makes the point that although this year
has radicalized them, turning them into barbarians, life back in the
States has the potential to domesticate them again, turning them into
Shearman cites Jesus’ story of the four men who ripped a hole in the roof to lower their friend down to see Jesus. They defied convention to get the job done. Down below, so many religious people had filled the house that it was impossible for the poor and the needy to reach Jesus.
had formed what Shearman calls “an exclusion zone.” The parallel, of
course, is that we do the same thing with our churches. Sadly, many are
homogeneous and keep pain at arm’s length.
we as humans have a default position of comfort, we need to guard
against filling our churches with religion that keeps the poor and
needy out. It goes on in our hometown in Georgia
all the time. One of our large denominational churches wasn’t satisfied
with its enormous campus and just dropped who knows how many millions
of dollars on a new building project.
This is the same church where I
got a report of a friend who inadvertently sat in some lady’s pew one
Sunday and was told, “Excuse me, you’re sitting in my seat.”
need to practice our dangerous heritage as roof-rippers, pushing past
the exclusion zone, bringing Jesus into contact with those he longs to
touch and heal.
we need to be prepared to even wreck life-long investments and
religious conventions to see his kingdom come in our lives. What
exclusion zones do you have? Your home? Your friends? Your church? What
are some roofs in your life that need to be ripped?