And We’re Back With More From The Jude Series
This is one of my favorite writings in Scripture. When I was newly Christian, at the tender age of 22, I read Jude’s letter (because it was short and after reading it I could say that I read a whole book in the Bible). It was this sentence that made turn it up to eleven in the world of my new faith: “You Gotta Fight!”
“I feel compelled to make my letter to you an earnest appeal to put up a real fight for the faith which has been once and for all committed to those who belong to Christ” J.B. Phillips translation
Jude was going to write about salvation, which I looked at here, but he needed to do something else…punch some church folk in the gut. Notice Jude directs this to “those who belong to Christ.”
Some things need to be fought for.
The faith we have inherited all these two thousand years later is one of them.
How would I define faith as Jude is talking about it? I would say that it’s (1) the teaching and instruction we find in Scripture, (2) the life we live in the newness of the Holy spirit and (3) the tradition that we receive from the hands of such a great cloud of witnesses. Stick that in a blender and you have a faith worth fighting for.
Jude reminds us that we need to stand up for these things.
I’m tired of the Bible being held under such unyielding suspicion, while at the same time, the ‘wisdom’ of our culture is accepted completely uncritically.
That’s what I would say if I were to take Jude’s words seriously.
Judeo-Christian belief relies on the witness and authority of Scripture. To hold it in such absolute and perpetual suspicion, i.e “The Bible doesn’t mean what I don’t want it to mean,” is to embrace a whole other worldview that shoves Jesus to the bleachers and puts “I” at the center. We have wrestled with scripture for thousands of years. Whatever TMZ is reporting today, will be yesterday’s news before lunchtime. Not sure our eggs are safe in that basket.
I’m tired of the Church suffering such uncharitable scrutiny by the same people that actually make the church the church, as if Jesus’ body were made of bricks and not them.
I would probably say that, too, if Jude got me worked up enough to actually take a stand.
Yep, the Church has done some absolutely abominable things. Yep, we have done it in the name of Jesus. Yep, we still do it. ‘Cause there are some pigeon-snap people everywhere. But the New Testament is really clear that in the Church there are both types of Churchians: the ones who are obedient to the Lordship of Jesus and those who are obedient to no other lordship but their own.
The ones who are obedient to Jesus have done some awesome notable and deeply selfless things (see Hospitals, Universities, Charities, Books, Compassion, Generosity, Kindness). Do Christians have the title to those things? No…not any more. But there was a time. If you follow the leaves down to the roots, at some point, you’ll find Jesus. (for a great read, and I mean great, check out Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus by John Ortberg).
There are some things that are worth fighting for. I believe that Scripture and the Church are two of God’s greatest gifts to the world and as much as they have the potential to be weaponized, that’s not why they were given. There’s more to them than we can handle. Jesus is up in the Word and the Church like Prince in Purple. They are worth standing up for, worth laying down my life for. Totally.
Just thought I’d fight for something for a moment. Sometimes you gotta fight, even if it’s for your right to party!