I have heard it said that the church is the only army that shoots its wounded. After hearing all the fuss about Adrian Peterson these last few weeks, I now know that this statement is not true. It is not false because the church does not shoot her wounded. It is false because the church is not alone in this behavior.
Our passion cannot come from love of correct doctrine. We are not to be motivated by obligation. A desire for societal reform (however necessary) is not to control us. Our actions cannot be fueled by a desire to be seen doing the right thing. The one and only correct source of passion for ministry is the love of God.
The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. Biblical literacy and theological expertise are not, therefore, the end of the Word but a God-ordained means to and end, and the end is a radically transformed life because the worship at the center of that life has been reclaimed.
This morning I read the story in Mark 11 of Jesus cleansing the Temple. He was angry with those who were using worship at the Temple for their own gain. Since most of us haven’t been guilty of selling birds or running a currency exchange in the back of the church, we are afforded the opportunity to smugly look down on those rascals that Jesus tossed out.