Human history is sprinkled with lights — men, women, and children whose hearts were ablaze with passion for the Christ. Many are called “saints” and are remembered in our day. Untold millions of others, however, were unheralded in their day and are forgotten by history.
Those people, passionate for the Christ, were called by many names — Catholic, Orthodox, heretics, Anabaptist, Quaker, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Jesus freaks, and on and on. One thing they all had in common — a burning desire to follow and obey Jesus Christ!
Those passionate for the Christ move me, challenge me, inspire me. They are my best friends. I have gotten to know them through their books and quotations. I seek out their writings. I let them talk to me through the written word regularly. After writing the last line I noticed two quotation books on the shelves in front of me: “The Voice of the Saints” and “The Quotable Saints” — books that contain the words of people who were passionate for the Christ.
The light shines brightly! Do we see it in our day? Some people say we are not a passionate people today, but I don’t think so. Millions of men are passionate about watching 100 grown men playing a boys’ game in an event called the Super Bowl every year. All over the world, grown men dance in their living rooms, giving each other high-fives, and banging their chests together, in their free flowing passion over a boy’s game. Boy, are we excitable!
But when it comes to the Christ — people dutifully attend a Sunday morning meeting and passively listen to a lecture about God. Their faces look extremely bored, they yawn and nod off. And when the thing ends, they dart out of the door and rush away as fast as they can to go excitedly watch a ball game. Do you see any passion for the Christ in that?
Where is our good ole American excitability when it comes to Christ? It is flaming in the Super Bowl but frozen in church. And even in the excitable churches, I’ve noticed that many people leave and don’t get excited about Christ again until the next meeting or conference pumps them up. But not with the Super Bowl. People talk about that all over the place for weeks and even months afterward.
Can you imagine someone watching the Super Bowl with a stoic, passionless expression, sitting like a statue? What if the stadium was filled with frozen, emotionless people the entire game, who were determined not to show any interest at all? Sounds like church now, doesn’t it?
Where is passion for the Christ in our day? It is very hard to find. Christians are excited about churches, pastors, prosperity, singers, TV ministers, religious trinkets, conferences, concerts, T-shirts, religious fads, right-wing politics, doctrines, and best selling books — but what about Christ? Is there any consistent, heart-felt passion for the Christ in our day? Where?
If Christ is in our heart, his fire and desire is also in our hearts. We need to not quench the Spirit, but stir up the gift that is in us. One way to do that is through support group type church meetings (based on I Corinthians 14:26).
This is being done in East Nashville, Tennessee every Sunday morning at 10:45 at The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207. Come and experience the spiritual fire and desire.