Turning Toward Jesus – Dave Schmelzer
Dave tells the story of Bill, an angry Jewish guy who is changed by Jesus in Dave’s church plant in Cambridge, MA. Dave suggests that “just” turning people toward Jesus was the key in Bill’s and many others’ conversions. To address the thought that perhaps “just” listening to Jesus’ voice and turning to follow him fails to deal with the reality that sooner or later a Christian has to “grow” — develop a belief system, opinions, church culture, etc. — Dave suggests the philosophical understanding of the second innocence. After the first innocence of beginning to follow Jesus, where every spiritual encounter feels like a discovery, Christians often find that the shine fades and not everything works out how they thought. In that place of “leaving Eden,” we can try to get back in—the conservative option; we can analyze what happened — the liberal instinct; or we can turn towards the fallen world and start moving, knowing, from John 10:27-28, that we have a shepherd who is going to lead us. Then, as we move through the world, we’ll see paradise ahead of us and enter in through the back door — walking with the living God.