Heart of Berlin

Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Monat: Mai 2002

The one email

It does not happen very often that one email makes me think for one whole week. But Toms response about the „Bride of Christ“ question did.

He wrote:
„Roman Catholic scholar Leon Podles dealt length with this issue in his book about the feminization of Christianity. Something about contorting one’s soul into the bridal posture is contrary to nature, perverse, and unbecoming to a Christian man. A devotional life centered around emoting/emitting effeminate, sweet, pious thoughts towards God is not Biblical, nor appropriate to real Christian living in the real world.“

Wow! What a statement!

I have not come to a clear conclusion yet. But here are some thougths:
– feminization of Christianity

I agree that this is happening to a large extend. I am sometimes frustrated, when I hear people ending their messages with an invitation to come to Jesus that sounds like: „come to Jesus and he will heal your heart and all your inner wounds. Just come to him…“ Of course Jesus does that, but to many men in my nation this would not sound like an invitation but like a threat (Jesus forcing them to deal with that emotional stuff. No thanks.). I remember a very different sermon I heard one day. A man preached about the cost of commitment, the possibility of matyrdom and so on. Not the kind of stuff that I find inviting. But I recall sitting there and thinking „this is a sermon for men“ And sure it was. When the preacher invited those to the platform who wanted to follow Christ at any cost and commit there lives to him fully and totally eight people came forward – ALL of them men. This made me think a lot abotu our presentation of the gospel.

To me meeting Christ is like entering our eternal home. But somehow this home seems to have different doors. Some people search for truth and then walk through the door of truth and find Christ, others find him through the doors of healing, forgiveness, comfort or challenge. However it seems to me that we keep opening the soft feminine doors (healing, comfort) when we preach the gospel. But in our communication we keep the „male“ doors (challenge, commitment, male passion and rawness) closed…..and wonder why so few men enter the family of Christ.

– individualization of Christianity
We – as a body of believers – ARE the bride of Christ and can meet him as such. And when we are together we can express our love and passion to him. It may seem inappropriate for an individual man to express love to Christ in a „feminine“ way (I can not tell, I am a woman – living in a country where even the women tend to be masculine and need to learn to be feminine). But when we as a body of believers togehter express our love for him, it could have all sorts of expressions: soft worship (guess we have too much of that), strong exclamation of his power and so on. Jesus expressed tenderness as well as strength.

– roles and shapes – and extremes
There are so many pictures the bible expresses to describe our relationship to God

father -children
shepherd – sheep
master – servant
friend – friend
potter – clay
commander – soldier
wine – branch

None of these make me less of a man / woman when I express that part of my relationship to him. I am his child (and at the same time a grown up business woman), I am the clay and yet called to rule over the earth in christ. I am no less of a woman when I see myself as a soldier in his army….I think the problem comes when one thing goes to the extreme i.e. if I would only see myself as a soldier it might be „off“….

As I said I am not finished with thinking….would appreciate your input, Tom – and the input of anyone else, too!

 

Bride of Christ

Thinking a lot (well, some) about this whole thing about being the bride of Christ. Have heard so many teachings and read so many books about individually being the bride of Christ. But that is not what the bible really teaches (let me be doctrinal for a moment).

It talks more about how as a body of believers we are his bride. This is totally different from our individualistic mindsets. Lots of questions in my head: how can we as a corporate body love Christ, walk (run) towards him, cherish him, adore him….not many brides, but one – made up of various parts….how he loves his bride…how very much he loves her…

Gene Edwards „The divine romance“ is a real classic teaching this in a deep and poetic way.
It is available at amazon…(uh…that´s pretty unpoetic but helpful info)…
Any thoughts, comments, inspirations…????

Oh, concerning inspirations. There is this real cool story by E.M. Forster about these humans who live under the earth and their deepest longing is for inspirations, but they are afraid of meeting real life (people, air, sunshine, country)…pretty much taps into how I sometimes feel – the tension between longing for life and inspiration and fear of unknown and uncontrollable situations…allowing life to happen. The story is called „The mashine stops“ (from „The New Collected Short Stories“ probably available at a…, too..no more advertisment for them!).

Our world

Kim Hutchins of Mars Hill Review asked me to let people know about their magazine and homepage.
She calls it: a journal of provocative thought and transcendent stories.

Have a look for yourself.

On their homepage I found a quote by Albert Einstein, which I had been looking for, because I wanted to put it on mine and could not remember the exact words. They are:

„The world we have created has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.“

Chance

I love to be with teams of intercessors. Somehow so much is happening when you run into them and with them…

By CHANCE we ran into Axel Nehlsen (I am not too good at maths, but in a city of 3 + Million inhabitants, chances to run into someone you know are pretty low…). Axel heads up (maybe „hearts up“) „together for Berlin“ an emerging network of leaders and intercessors who long to see this city changed and reached for Christ.

By CHANCE he happened to have time just then because another meeting had been cancelles.. he shared what was happening in the city….and then the team hat a chance to pray for him (and took it!!!). Loved every minute of it….great to be in a situation where you know GOD has his hands on…
Two ladies in the team by chance met a man in the underground who was hungry to receive Jesus – and did!

At night we by chance started talking about our conversion experience in an underground train. As we realized that half of the train was listening to our conversation we took our chances and kept asking each other questions about how Jesus changed our lives….loved every second of it…never enjoyed it so much to have a conversation overheard by so many…

I love the kind of things that are happening by chance….when we give God a chance and let things go from our hands and pray…HE is so great! I mean, how can you not want to be with him!

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