Friday’s Faith Forum: Philippians 2:5-8

In their book ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church, authors Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch write, “It appears that a good church upbringing will do many marvelous things for you, but one of the unfortunate things it also does is convince you that Jesus is to be worshipped but not followed” (p. 17).  I sometimes wonder if Christians have forgotten that we are called to follow Jesus and that this means we are called to live like Jesus as much as we are called to believe in Jesus.

In this ESPN article we learn about comments that Nebraska Assistant Football Coach Ron Brown made about an anti-discrimination policy that extended to GLBT people.  In the article it is reported that Brown won’t stop speaking “his Bible-inspired message” since “he’s called to evangelize.”  Very good!  But is that all there is to sharing faith in the public sphere.

I know it’s difficult to deduce much from one article but I didn’t just crawl out of a cave this morning either.  It seems like Christians are too often concerned with preserving a “Christian friendly” culture.  That pits us in a power struggle against the rest of society.  Besides such stance being wrong, it compromises our witness.  This is why I believe it is imperative that we Christians must pay particular attention to the way we live, making sure that our life reflects the life Jesus lived.

So I am wondering if these words from scripture have any bearing on the current circumstances.

Philippians 2:5-8  “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”  (NRSV).

I know that the Apostle Paul was writing to a church but what he was doing was applying the Jesus story to their own circumstances.  So what if we actually applied the way Jesus lived to the way we lived among our culture, choosing to be a humble servant (slave) unto death?

So here are the questions to ask about Philippians 2:5-8:

  1. How would this change the way we act to those whose beliefs and values are different than our own?
  2. How would this change the way we speak in public on matters where we believe the wrong decisions are being made?
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One response to “Friday’s Faith Forum: Philippians 2:5-8

  1. Back 25 years ago I wrote a booklet called “The Manifestations of Sin and the Christian Response” and its point was that with all the Christian politicing opposing homosexualls in the public arena, that the message of God’s love for all men was decidedly blunted, to the point that those who needed to hear it, weren’t.
    Part of the problem is the invisible church doctrine; in America the de facto substitute for the Church as redemptive community has been America, the redemptive community. Since the Christian witness is hopelessly shattered by external schism, and buttressed by a monophysite ecclesiology, the invisible Church doctrine, that which is in us to desire a community of redemption has been schlepped by the evil one into a false identification of America as the ‘light set on a hill.’
    So, recovery of a people whose words and acts are fit conduits for the mystery of the in-breaking of the Kingdom, requires the de-idolatrization of the State, and the re-emergence of a doctrine of the Church that is ontological consistent with the Resurrection Body of Jesus, Visible and One.

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