Christianity is not meant to be controlled, but rather, it is meant to be unleashed. That’s the phrase I have been saying over the last week or so in a variety of conversations and settings.
So often we are stuck practicing a Christianity that is controlled and contained. We try to control our Christianity in the confines of the church or in attempting to make our faith a private matter. Yet, Christ has a way of breaking through those control measures. I’m not sure when this started – a strong argument can be made for this starting with Constantine and Rome, but these things are hardly ever a simple explanation. Regardless of the origins of the attempt to contain and control Christianity, we are at the advent of something new when it comes to faith.
And I think that is because Christendom is dying. Mind you – the church isn’t dying. The church is the body of Christ. Maybe some forms of organized Christianity are dying or at the very least they are changing, but the church itself is not dying. It is entering a new phase and era. The beauty of this is that Christianity is moving into an era in which it can be unleashed as it was meant to be all along. When things struggle for life, two reactions typically take root – one is an effort to exert even more control. This usually ends up killing whatever is struggling to survive. More control doesn’t help, it just smothers any life that remains. The other option is to unleash that thing and allow the creativity and risk to take the lead. Movements that thrive are unleashed – creativity and risk are allowed to be expressed. It is the recognition that things need to change or else there will be death.
The time of Christianity being controlled from within are over. New life and new mission means that the time for Christianity to be unleashed has arrived. And this makes perfect sense. Christ is always about resurrection. Resurrection is about new life, transformed life – done in a creative and risky way. It was risky for Christ to be resurrected. Yet it is what causes the spread of the Good News to start to spread far and wide and in creative ways.
The time to unleash Christianity is now. Jesus is just waiting to be unleashed in each one of us and to unleash us on the world in need of good news, hope, peace, forgiveness, and love. That’s a beautiful thing. Let’s unleash it and live it out.