Dear Pastor Whoever….
Because of the influence of you and your colleagues throughout North America, most – not all, but most – born again christians serve and worship a faraway Jesus. (Their speech gives them away.) A faraway Jesus is a Jesus that is relationally distant. He lives way up there somewhere in the heavens, observing us with less than keen interest.
Faraway Jesus was once up-close, intimate Jesus. At rebirth He was so personal, so cherished, so…. here. But then the born again was introduced to your church pew. Sit here and listen. To me. Every sunday. Be respectfully silent, except when it’s time to sing. Don’t worry, we have a very competent worship leader. You can say “Amen!” once in a while, but please, nothing more.
Under your ministry Born-Again Whoever drifted. Paul: “I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted.”For most, the slide from intimate to tepid, from relationship to religion took only a handful of months. A few hardy holdouts resisted for years before capitulating to the evangelical way of life. For this, I cannot and do not blame you. You can’t preach what you don’t have. (Your speech gives you away.) You’re not able to take others to a place foreign to you. Only the intimate can lead others into intimacy.
The only remedy is to take a trip back to Calvary, kneel at the foot of “the old rugged cross”, and let the blood of the slain Lamb trickle over you once again. In deep repentance recapture “first love”. Exchange your faraway Jesus for a here-and-now Jesus. Now you can lead others into intimacy with our sin-bearer.
I wish you well,