The Ascending Christian

What have we lost in the modern day church that our ancestors exceeded at? The process of transformation/ascension.

Time and time again we find the notion of transformation being exhorted within the New Testament, from the teachings of Christ through the latter books of the apostles. And yet, the modern day church has failed to exhibit any qualitative traits of transformation except at the most fundamental level. Why? First, because we have misinterpreted what constitutes the process of transformation. And secondly, due to the unwillingness of modern humanity to embark on adventure in exchange for complacency.

Our modern way of being promotes the idea of acceptance, not only at one’s initiation into the faith, but though one’s entirety as well. Secular society has heavily influenced the church today with the promotion of birth, work, retirement, and then death. But this is not what Christ and the apostles proclaimed. Their proclamation was one of initial acceptance into the faith followed by a lifelong process of inward and outward transformation; a process of ascending to greater heights from the foundation of which Christ laid for us.

Most fellow Christians believe they have been transformed, and perhaps that is so. But for the most that make this claim, their idea of transformation is fundamental at best. What’s of most interest is the fact that the same Greek word used to describe the transfiguration of Christ, “metamorphoō,” is the same word used to describe the transformation of His followers, too. It is a process of both a spiritual and physical transformation and illumination.

To help clarify this process a bit more, we must first understand the nature of Christ in which we are to mimic and exhibit within our lives. First, Christ was a great intellectual of His time, which means that He possessed and exhibited adequate knowledge and wisdom. This is not to say that we are all to be genius so to speak, but it does mean that we should all be challenging our current bounds of acquired knowledge by studying complex and thought provoking material from various disciplines. And it is through this form of challenging studies that we not only acquire greater knowledge and understanding, but are transformed in due process as well.

Second, Christ is a divine warrior that is set to return to slay the wicked, which means, as Paul puts it so well in his second letter Timothy, we are to be and act like warriors, too. We are called to be strong, courageous, and be able to protect, which all implies the necessity of both spiritual and physical strength. Much of the church today exhibits little to no strength or perceived fitness of any sort with a national average of overweight individuals making up 80% of the population. And how does this reflect a strong church that cherishes and properly maintains their bodily temples? It does not at all. And thus, how can one say they are transformed while neglecting the body in which God supplies them with?

This short, simple message is a wake up call for the church and the individuals within to call upon the Lord for transformation, and to ascend to another level in their life. Are you ready for change? Are you ready to ascend to the higher calling of God in your life?

-Michael Thacket

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