Home > books, Church, coffee, evangelism, Gospel > evangelicalism, gospel behind the veil?

evangelicalism, gospel behind the veil?

This summer I am reading through Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ book ‘Total Church: a Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community’ with some of my college friends.

As I sit and read this morning, I find myself in a local Starbucks watching people come in and pick up their lattes, coffees, and ‘Refresh’ iced teas on their way to church.

Sitting around me are, I guess, people from around town who use their Sunday mornings to linger in Starbucks, sip their beverage of choice, listen to Starbucksy music, and read novels.

Outside, a young man reads a ragged magazine, a worn journal sitting on the table in front of him. His dog is leashed to his back pack, his blanket sinched beside his water bottle.

As these people live and move and have their being around me, I read these words:

”We agree with conservatives that the emerging church is too often soft on truth. But we do not think the answer is to be suspicious of community. Indeed, we think that conservatives do not ‘do truth’ well because they neglect community. Because people are not sharing their lives, truth is not applied and lived out.’

‘Do Truth…..DO truth…..do TRUTH….’

My mind drifts to the Old Testament, to the Temple, to the place where God would live one day out of the year.

The place where man (A man, the High Priest) would interact directly with God.

Behind a veil, where nobody could see him, that is where all of this occured.

And now Christ has come, pouring out His Spirit on all who believe in his life, death, and resurrection – making his people into his temple, his place of residence and dwelling.

But are we any different from the priests of the Old Testament? Is it possible that we keep our interaction and enjoyment of God hidden behind a veil, locked in the privacy of church, home, quite time?

Where do we ‘do truth’?

Does anybody see it when we do?

I am still sitting in Starbucks and now the police have gathered to arrest (or run off) this young traveler and his dog.

And here I sit. Behind a glass veil of picture windows.

Now what?

. . . . . . .

How do you ‘do truth’ in your daily life?

How can local churches ‘do truth’ more faithfully and publicly?

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  1. Stephanie
    June 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I’ve recently had the joy of witnessing my roommate come into the fullness of freedom in Christ in a rather dramatic way. She has struggled all her life with depression and grew up thinking that everyone hates themselves. She’s done therapy before and med’s when it got really bad, and had been doing quite well lately, especially since she is still grieving a broken engagement.

    During an intense four-day thing called Life Enrichment Boot Camp (google it), God has blessed her with so much freedom in him I am astounded. The thing itself is “christian” with a wishy-washy theology, but God totally used it for so much good and glory. At the end, when asked to write down all the negatives she could think of about herself or her life or God, for the first time in her life she could come up with nothing. Not a single thing came to mind.

    Anyways, all that leads up to your comment on Doing Truth. She is now energetically pursuing how to turn this new heart and this new way of thinking into action, and its challenging me in a good way. She is seeking out how to serve people and spread God’s name with a refreshing fervor. Instead of seeing a homeless woman walking down the street and silently saying a prayer, she made an illegal u-turn and turned some corners until she found her again, gave her a ride to various places, made calls to find her a place to stay which turned out fruitless so she gave her $70 to cover the rest of her rent and buy some food, and prayed with her before dropping her at her final destination.

    Granted, not all acts of truth are that dramatic. Often it is the simple truth that goes missing, being replaced by the habitual and the auto-pilot which blinds itself to others and the work that God longs for us to do for the kingdom. My hunch is that the reason more people (read: me) do not ‘do truth’ is two-fold: they don’t spend enough time in the word and so therefore don’t fully understand the truth, and/or don’t have the calming and focusing affects that being in the word can give and as a result are just living to ‘make it through the day’ instead of living intentionally.

    Removing the veil can be hard, but its totally worth it.

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