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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are You Ready To Be Dangerous?

This last week I was looking over Matthew 21:12-17. In the passage, Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out all the people who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves for sacrifice. He said to them, "My temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."

Basically, Jesus was dangerous.

It was only after the distractions and obstacles were removed that Jesus could begin healing people. It is only then that they could encounter the fullness of the divine Christ. It was as if the temple had finally been freed to be what God meant for it to be.

I believe Jesus has called His church to be dangerous.

A dangerous church will take an uncivilized approach. A dangerous church will possesses a divine boldness. A dangerous church will demonstrate a risk-taking faith — and without faith it is impossible to please God.

Encounter will be a dangerous church.

Our goals are reconciliation, strength, and life — there is safety and comfort for those who are broken. But those who are religious, those who worship tradition at the expense of worshiping God, those who are frozen in their cautiousness — they will be disturbed.

When was the last time you had an uncivilized experience with God? When was the last time you took a faith-risk? When was the last time you took a bold stand for Christ? Isn't it time to become dangerous?

Jesus didn't save us make us comfortable, He died and resurrected to make us dangerous!

Won't you join us? Our vision is to free people to encounter Jesus — to remove the distractions and barriers in the way of people moving forward in their faith. And we're not afraid to overturn tables and upset the status quo.

Are you ready to be dangerous?

If you are, let us know. Become a partner in prayer for Encounter Church. Answer that small voice that's nudging you to become a part of what we're doing to impact this generation in Helena.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that "dangerous" is the way to describe Jesus' behavior and your congregation?

dan·ger·ous (dnjr-s) adj.
1. Involving or filled with danger; perilous.
2. Being able or likely to do harm.
likely to harm or kill someone, or to damage or destroy something
likely to have a bad effect or to cause a problem
full of danger; likely to cause injury, pain, etc.; unsafe; perilous

Synonyms: grave, grievous, hazardous, jeopardizing, menacing, parlous, perilous, risky, serious, threatening, unhealthy, unsafe, venturesome
Antonyms: harmless, innocent, innocuous, nonhazardous, nonthreatening, safe,unthreatening

Definition: Attended or beset with danger; full of risk; perilous; hazardous; unsafe

Encounter Church said...

We are so glad you asked that question! The truth is that we considered this very question early on, addressing whether the word "dangerous" is an accurate way to describe Jesus and Encounter.

The answer is a resounding "Yes"! But like many considerations, it is within the conversation presented above.

Perhaps you missed it, but we wrote "There is safety and comfort for those who are broken. But those who are religious, those who worship tradition at the expense of worshiping God, those who are frozen in their cautiousness — they will be disturbed."

You see, we desire to disturb the comfortable, and comfort the disturbed. Those who are content in their faith, those who are satisfied with the status quo, who see no need to follow Jesus in changing this world - we will be dangerous to their ways.

We are dangerous to the patterns of this world, we are dangerous to the kingdom of this world, and we are dangerous to the prince of this world (Satan).

From our point of view and in this context, you can distinguish a dangerous church from a safe church.

A dangerous church...
1) Embraces an uncivilized approach (like Jesus)
2) Possesses a divine boldness
3) Lives out a risk-taking faith
4) Displays an unshakable devotion
5) Becomes a selfless community

A safe church..
1) Becomes self-focused
2) Strives to keep it's own members happy
3) Avoids controversial issues
4) Stays cautious in their faith
5) Guards the status quo at all costs

So once more, do we want to describe Jesus' behavior and our congregation? Absolutely.

Tim Shey said...

In a lukewarm church, there is no conviction for sin. In a church that is truly surrendered to Jesus Christ, there will be conviction for sin. If our life has the fire of the Holy Ghost, others will feel uncomfortable around us; they will think that we are dangerous to their comfort zone of sin and passivity. Jesus' life was very dangerous to the power structure of the Pharisees.

Look at the word "faith": it has RISK written all over it. "It is only through faith that we are able to please God." Danger-faith.

I have hitchhiked through Helena many times over the years. I have stayed at God's Love Mission a number of times. The Lord has had me on the road for most of 15 years now. Right now I am in California staying with some friends for a while.

God bless you in your ministry.

Encounter Church said...

Thanks Tim. We are talking about "Taking Faith Risks" this next Sunday. You might be interested to check out the podcast after it is uploaded at:

Make sure you look me up the next time you are in town!

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