Vol 2: 37 The Soul of God: A Missional Credo – Living as Jesus

As I further explore insights from Ray Anderson’s theological memoir, The Soul of God, I continue to be deeply influenced in being shaped in living missionally.

In the second chapter of The Soul of God, Ray Anderson shares regarding the humanity of Jesus as to what it meant that he was sent – as a way of shaping how we are sent. I share his statement here without comment – it is for me a missional credo.

As Jesus was: In the midst of a religious culture that prized appearance and cultivated form, Jesus appeared clothed simply in grace and truth. He refused to recognize as spiritual that which was artificial and affected. He valued the truth of being and doing over the righteousness of words and prayers. Both in the street and in the temple, he uses one language for both the saint and the sinner. He stated divine realities in terms of human experience. His life-style was that of a human person living among humans. Because he was the truth, he had no fear of exposure, nothing to defend. Because he was human, he had no fear of humanness, in himself or others. Because he came in love, he had no fear of love – he was open to all who were open to him.

So we should be: A real Christian must also be a genuine human being. Spiritual growth is manifested in those who demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in relationship with others (Gal. 5:22-23). The Christian is to be related to one’s own society in the same way that Christ was related to the world (John 17:18). The test for truth in a Christian is what the world sees of Jesus Christ in us, not what other Christians see of themselves in us. We are committed to live a transparent life, willing to be known for who we really are, not only by who we say we are. We are committed to live in openness toward others, accepting them as Christ has accepted us, having a spirit of tolerance toward others who do not share our concepts or convictions. Yet we know that openness is not permissiveness, and tolerance is not compromise. We are committed to the fact that a Christian has anxieties, temptations, moods, doubts, frustrations and problems. This is what it means to be human. We are committed to have no ulterior motive or religious device in our love for God or our love for our neighbor: that is, we are committed to authenticity” (Anderson, The Soul of God, 25).

Well, maybe one comment: To seek to be authentic in this way is to seek to live missionally.

And also a prayer: This I know I do not have within me, unless the Spirit of God enables me.

Spirit of God take hold of me, shape me, transform me, so that I might live as Jesus – authentically and missionally.

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