From Outlaw Faith to Monarch Faith

September 23, 2010 in Headlines

“Exactly what is ‘Outlaw Faith’?”

That’s the question I often get asked when talking about the difference between Traditional Christianity (yuk!) and Outlaw Christianity (hurray!). In response, I squint my eyes (usually from the smoke of my pipe, but sometimes to look real intimidating) and with considerable coolness, I ask, “You don’t know?”

“No, I don’t know.”

“Well,” I say, tapping my pipe thoughtfully, “that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?” (And I return to squinting and puffing again.) Nine out of 10 times, that’s all I have to do.

Occasionally the obnoxious-type will keep pressing me…“What do you mean by that?

And for that person I would say, “Study the life of King David–then we’ll talk.” Again, this is hugely effective for 9o% of my stubborn “Outlaw Faith” inquiries.

But some will ask, “Why study David?” And others come back and say, “OK, I’ve studied David, so what is ‘Outlaw Faith’?”

So I know I’m in real trouble now. As a result, I’ve been studying David’s life now for about a month and headed down to Columbus to get a collection of teachings from my mother, who taught a series on David about 25 years ago.

The Columbus Connection

“There’s really no more than three teachings on David,” mom said. “After a point, it’s all about David killing people!” (What’s the problem with that?)

So I’m pretty dismayed, but still hopeful as I head south, because I know there’s more than three teachings on David, and maybe we can dig deeper and get past mom’s aversion to David’s warrior-ways. After all, he occupies about 30% of the Old Testament, so he’s the primary character in the Old Testament. Across the entire Bible, only the life of Jesus occupies more material. Three teachings!?

The next thing I know, I’m sitting in the emergency room with mom, waiting for service (for hours) for my bruised ribs, and we look at her David series…she has 150 pages of teaching notes!

Check it out--a beheaded Goliath is one of the many thrills in this series.

“You taught all this in three teachings?” I ask, amazed (with visions of the groans I receive whenever I go past 35 minutes in my Central Teachings—I could cover this material in three sessions if each session was 4 hours long!).

Mom shakes her head in amazement. “I’m glad you made me go through this. I forgot how much material I had here.” (She’s almost 90 years old.) She will be teaching a David series this fall in the 4 Challenge Groups she leads  in Columbus. So we spent four days pouring through her 150 pages of material and five books on David she has in her library. Now I’ve got more material than I need. All told, she had about 20 teachings on David’s life (which we will cut down, of course).

The Plan Takes Shape

The plan is to cover David’s life over the course of this Fall season, and there is plenty of good material to work from. Read 1 and 2 Samuel to see what I mean.

David’s life is really a great answer the original question, “What is ‘Outlaw Faith’?” We see the difference between David living as an outlaw, on the run and hiding from persecution by King Saul, for no good reason except that David trusted God, and Saul didn’t. The way he handled things often is not exemplary, but David had the right heart, according to Paul:

“‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’  Acts 13:22 (NASB)

David was unafraid of standing up for God, despite tremendous opposition and pressures that would scare even the strongest among us. Yet David held a courageous faith all throughout most of his life, until he settled into a successful reign as King himself. Then we see spiritual corruption compromising his courageous faith. I think the appropriate title for this study of contrasts is, “From Outlaw Faith to Monarch Faith,” and it really helps explain the spiritual weakness so typical in American Christianity.

We at NeoXenos obviously are not immune from settling into the comforts and compromise of Monarch Faith, because we live in a world of great prosperity. Christian Tribalism is perhaps the greatest blight on the face of modern Christianity. The Christian Tribal Family Unit is a hotbed for self-indulgence and a very self-enclosed, self-protective world which cares little for the plight of outsiders. We love to build our own little kingdoms. The greatest problem with such a quest for security is the loss of God’s security which only comes through faith and dependence on Him, not from the strength of our own human kingdom. God’s Kingdom operates by principles and powers completely different than our petty human kingdoms.

The study begins in October (10/2), and should prove to be not only insightful, but hopefully very dramatic. Each week will be another story of blood, gore, victorious faith, God’s love, chopped-off heads, dismembered bodies, and many of the elements that will compete with the best of Prime Time television.

3 responses to From Outlaw Faith to Monarch Faith

  1. Sounds like a good teaching series coming up. I haven’t hear many teachings on David and looking forward to this series. I am sad that I will miss the very first teaching due to a long over due women’s retreat. Can’t wait to hear it on the pod cast.

  2. sounds like a great teaching. hopefully this will help us all get a better grip on what outlaw faith means. i know several people, esp the students have had some trouble understanding this concept because it is so counter-cultural. i’m really excited to understand this better!!

  3. Love me some David – girls just love those bad boys with the “beautiful eyes.”

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