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Repent!

July 26, 2006

Repent is one of those words that you could argue has been ruined by religion. Many of us can’t think of it without hearing a unusually loud voice and a fist pounded into the pulpit after it is spoken.

And of course we have heard all types of definitions of this word. The most common I have heard is that it means to turn away or change direction. Sorry, Bob tell them about the parting gifts.

Repent has to do with changing your mind. It is a mental decision. More about that in a minute.

Jesus comes to offer life to those who need life, not help to those who need help, but more than that. Life to those who need life.

Does Jesus only enable me to “make the cut” when I die? Or to know what to protest, or how to vote or agitate and organize? It is good to know that when I die all will be well, but is there any good news for life? If I had to choose, I would rather have a car that runs than good insurance on one that doesn’t. Can I not have both? – Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

Jesus promises wholeness to lives and in that he has enduring relevance. And his way of life is open to all. When in Matthew we read “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near” it is not so much turn arround. It is reconsidering how we have been approaching life. Because we have at the present, before us an opportunity to live within the surrounding movements of God’s eternal purposes, of taking our life into his. We make the decision to join in. Sometime that will mean turning arround. Sometime that will mean to step forward in the direction we are already headed.

Its as Rob Bell says, we are in tune with the song that God has been playing thoughout all time. We are in harmony. Repent. Tune up. Play along.

A few notes. Marshall Ramsey has a new blog and he is prolific. Marshall is the editorial cartoonist for the largest paper in Mississippi and cousin to Dave Ramsey. I followed Marshall way before I had ever heard of Dave. And Christi who is an old friend and blogger is asking for comments on a question of living in tune with God.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2006 4:39 pm

    That’s great. I know a CoCer did that sign. No one else knows what that scripture says.

    🙂

  2. July 26, 2006 4:48 pm

    It has always seemed to me that we try to confuse “repent” with “confession”, and why do you have to go the front of a church building to do it.

    Love the quote by DW. Great book!

  3. July 26, 2006 5:09 pm

    Repent is also one of those words only used by religion.

    I like the way you define it, but try laying that on a post-modern!

    Uh, try defining anything to them. lol

  4. July 26, 2006 5:49 pm

    I had trouble discussing that with the 5th and 6th graders I used to teach. They didn’t need to turn from what they were doing… they were good people. Scared they were going to die and go to hell… but good people.

  5. July 26, 2006 5:58 pm

    Good comments. Danny, I would consider myself post-modern, I was talking postmodernism 20 years ago just not about religion. So elaborate brother.

    TL or Terri or That girl, that is an interesting discussion. Those kids have been following Christ (christians) their whole life. For them repentance is a decision not a turning around. But what is interesting is to talk about what Baptism is for a second generation Christian.

  6. July 26, 2006 6:09 pm

    My comment had to do more with language than anything else.

    Often I find our words to be obstacles to greater dialogue in our greater culture. While we are comfortable with the word “repent” and have a clear understanding of it (as evidenced elequently in your post) others may not.

    I am constantly challenging myself- and this even among us church folks- especially younger church folks- to do my best to use words of culture to communicate God’s great truths.

    I realize that I am preaching to the choir with you and your readers!

  7. Anonymous permalink
    August 12, 2006 6:07 pm

    I’m impressed with your site, very nice graphics!
    »

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