Say what you will about Breaking Bad…
It’s ground breaking.
One thing it is NOT is boring.
The award winning drama about a high school teacher turned drug kingpin ends officially this Sunday night and millions will tune it to watch and see what happens to Walter White and Jesse.
I love the show. I’ve watched the whole drama unfold.
The show features phenomenal story telling and acting, yet, what fascinates me is the most is the premise from which the show’s creator has worked.
“Television is really good at protecting the franchise. It’s good at keeping the Korean War going for 11 seasons, like M*A*S*H. It’s good at keeping Marshal Dillon policing his little town for 20 years. By their very nature TV shows are open-ended. So I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to have a show that takes the protagonist and transforms him into the antagonist?” -Vince Gilligan, Creator of Breaking Bad.
He was working to see if he could answer this question: “How can I do a show in which the fundamental drive is toward change?”
The church could learn a thing or two from Mr. Gilligan.
He wasn’t going to be happy making just another show with a static Hollywood storyline.
His show is all about change.
Dark, shocking, and violent change.
I’m not proposing more darkness or violence, but it seems to me that shocking deserves a place in the church.
After all we are celebrating and promoting God’s Grace.
Grace allows, even compels life change as a result.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5.17)
So often in the church we struggle with change.
I get it.
We want to keep our standards. We know what is bad and what is good. We can easily identify what’s black and what’s white.
But think about this for a moment.
Jesus showed up on the scene and turned man’s system of getting to God on its head.
He irritated the religious leaders of his day.
Because Jesus brought about change.
He touched and healed people who were once untouchable.
He talked and ate with those nobody had before.
It’s amazing when you think about it. Hebrews 13.8 says “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Yep, our sure and steady Jesus keeps bringing grace and change.
Because of Jesus, the lame will walk and the blind will see.
The church must get comfortable with change. Radical, shocking, and supernatural change.
God won’t leave people stuck and we can’t afford to either.
While it’s easier to paint people as bad or good, it’s actually not very Jesus-like.
Everything belongs to God. Psalm 24 makes this declaration: “The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord. The world and its people belong to him.”
Too many times I’ve been guilty of holding a person’s past against them.
Grace, healing, transformation and progress struggle to thrive when we act and think this way.
Let’s allow people room to grow and change.
Let’s make our churches places where Grace, healing and change aren’t just occasional, but the norm.
To say it another way, let’s make life change the fundamental drive of our churches.