Then the Master craftsman proclaimed, “ Let’s build people just like we are; with ideas, loves and passions like ours. Let them take charge of all else created; the animals that roam the earth birds flying in the sky, and everything that swims in the waters. And so God made man just like himself, as he is. The way he is, he hand crafted each one of them, man and woman.
- Genesis 1:26-27 (RSV)
One of the main groups that work with us here in Cleveland is a company that produces a machine that helps muscle warm up and recovery. If you use the machine on your lower extremities for about 5 minutes, it is the equivalent of a full 20-30 minute warm up. Likewise using the device after a training session or workout is much quicker as well as more efficient than other forms of recovery like icing and taking recovery shakes.
I have become quite close with the core of the organization as they are trying to market and sell their products to professional teams and athletes like our own. They have shared some of the teams and organizations they are working with as well as some of the various shows and conferences they have attended. A few months back they took the product to the national bodybuilding symposium. They brought back some pictures from the event and I was literally stunned. The absolute enormity of the individuals who came by their booth absolutely shocked and awed me. These athletes had trapezius muscles that extend as far as my shoulders do! Throughout the conference I guess they would come and use the device. Although I wasn’t there, I can imagine it would be like when I go into Sharper Image. You know what I’m talking about? There is absolutely no way I am going to buy the $8,000 chair! I will however, enjoy the benefits while whoever I am with gets what they need. If you take a look at body builders it is quite clear they are experts at toning up and adding only what they want while they take everything away that they do not.
What is interesting to me is that it seems we in the church have become expert body builders as well. Looking around we have chosen to build up and add where we want but have no problems or issues stripping away things and places we don’t. Where on earth did we get this frame of mind? In the beginning weren’t we created as God-loved image bearers of the Most High? It seems today we have completely stripped people of this beautiful reality. We no longer have people who reflect YAHWEH and his beauty. Now all we have are Muslims, or deadbeats. Alcoholics or homosexuals. Ignorants or obnoxious individuals. We have completely and entirely stripped them of the beautiful title and reality with which they have been given.
This is seemingly exactly what Christ came and countered. Don’t get me wrong; I need to be aware of this more than ever. And while I want to merit Christ as the only WAY, I think that quite honestly a man like Zacchaeus would be seen as a modern day Muslim. The love and power of the Gospel is supposed to change, transform, and inspire not tear apart, belittle and strip down.
This then is why people run away from the church, isn’t it? A pastor out in California has written a book They Like Jesus, but they don’t like the Church. How has this happened? If we the BODY are supposed to be little Christs (Christians) why are so many people continually hurt by it? What have we done, What have I done that this is the case? Seemingly a Kingdom approach would not be as a friend once said, “Come join our alien society.” It should instead be a booming, “Come home!” If there is a place that people should be able to run to it is the body; not away from it!
It is not our job to pick apart and tear down. This is one body that has truly been sculpted by the master craftsman.