[featured_image]Last night at the Organic Movements Conference, Deb Hirsch gave the opening talk. She started by addressing the question – “What is it that motivates you to do what you do?”

Her personal answer to that question: “It’s all about Mission. It’s all about helping people find Jesus.” God has used her to incredibly connect with marginalized people. She identified Seven Obstacles to Engaging in Mission – each one a distorted view of reality that needs to be realigned with the Truth.

  • Distorted Views of Jesus
  • Distorted Views of Self
  • Distorted Views of Others
  • Distorted Views of Love
  • Distorted Views of the World
  • Distorted Views of $, Consumption and Status
  • Distorted Views of Family

Each one of these distortions will negatively affect your ability to engage in mission!

While they are all significant, here are some of her comments on Distorted Views of Jesus:If your conception of God is radically false than the more devout you are the worse it will be for you. You are opening your soul to be molded by something else. You had much better be an atheist. – William Temple

  • If you get this wrong, it mucks up everything else.
  • We need to get back to the Gospels to encounter Jesus again and again.
  • She fears that a lot of Christians don’t see Jesus for who He really is.
  • We try to tame Him and domesticate Him.
  • Jesus was unruly. He didn’t care for social graces.
  • He always hung out with the wrong people in the wrong places at the wrong times.
  • He was accused of being a glutton and drunkard.
  • Jesus is anything but sanitized and tidy.
  • Jesus was born in a dirty shed and died on a dirty cross. We tend to clean Him up.
  • He was completely sinless, yet He regularly offended people. He was holy, but He wasn’t afraid to be close to sinners.
  • Christians become “nice” and “polite” and equate that with holiness. That does not have anything to do with holiness.
  • What is it about Jesus that caused sinners, lepers and prostitutes to be drawn to Him?
  • What was this kind of holiness that drew sinners closer?
  • What about our holiness? Are people drawn to us?
  • And why do Christians repel sinners?
  • We’ve confused holiness with moralism. We exude moral superiority. Moralism is the attitude that people and things might corrupt someone. Holiness realizes that won’t happen.

I think we need to embrace a Jesus that was radical. He was holy—but He wasn’t afraid of sinners. If we are going to follow Jesus, we can’t be afraid that people and things in the world will contaminate us or make us unclean. We need to be friends of sinners, like Jesus.

How does your view of Jesus impact the way you engage in mission?