by Brad Duncan
According to common wisdom in the evangelical mainstream, the purpose of my life is to perform and achieve. Here are some things on my performance do-list:
#1: Worship that Pleases God
I am called to at the same time be best friends with God and to sing and dance for his/her pleasure. God will be pleased with my devotion and sincerity. God needs me to promote his/her goodness in a hurting world by throwing a big party inside a church building, and by performing ritual readings and recitations in a closet inside my house.
#2: Build the Church
I am called to unite with other like-minded believers and assemble weekly performances that demonstrate God's amazing goodness on a stage with music and unidirectional communication. We Christians are to unite in opinion and actions, by not listening to each other's needs or questions but by focusing our attention on the stage and following the leader behind the microphone.
#3. Become like Christ
I am called to become like Christ in conformity with how our church has traditionally become like Christ. Not become like Christ in a more literal sense like being a total rebel, accepting people that don't fit in, breaking down barriers, loving enemies and rejecting the religious status-quo. Rather I am called to Become like Christ-ians, by rejecting the correct list of sins that are still relevant enough to apply today, by forming a non-diverse group of well-behaving believers, by enforcing correct behavior using social norms, and by helping God out with judging the world.
#4. Serving God
I am called to serve God, accepting my assignment, finding my unique instrument for performing in the orchestra of the kingdom, diligently using the gifts that God gave me, thinking like a servant, and overcoming my own weakness so that I can perform my duties well. God will be pleased with my performance and tell me in heaven that I was a good and faithful servant. I will earn spiritual rewards based on the number of people I reached and the quality of my performance.
#5. Become a World-Class Christian with a Mission
I am called to spread the word that performance-based Christianity can bring freedom and joy to the hurting masses of the world. I should balance my life and live with purpose so that I simultaneously live my family and work life and at the same time drive everything to the greater good of building a bigger kingdom for my God. I should spread the word that God loves the world and just wants us to love on another - and then I should remind everyone of the exceptions and performance requirements that come with God's unconditional love.
May you all be filled with joy, peace and freedom! And may you all perform to the best of your ability!