I’ve written a lot about the John Wimber quote that “faith is spelled R -I -S -K” and there is a lot of truth in that if it is comfortable, safe and easily to accomplish then it probably was neither faith stretching or faith strengthening.
We are called to “walk by faith and not by sight”, and all through the Bible we see amazing men and women hanging on to God’s promise and faithfulness in the midst of challenging and difficult times.
In the Narnia books, Aslan (the Christ figure in the narrative), is depicted as a Lion, and the question is asked “is he safe?” the reply was “of course he’s not safe, but he is good”.
Following Jesus is not safe.
Following Jesus is not the comfortable or cushy option.
I often say on Alpha, Jesus was accused of many things, but never being boring!
What a disservice we have done Christ by making this world transforming movement into something boring, what a shocking misrepresentation.
If Christians are going to be like Christ, then they won’t be dull following the only person in the world who never bottled it, who never wimped out, and never played it safe.
I’m not sure anyone wants their epitaph to read “s/he always played it safe”, if you want comfort and safety you don’t want to be following someone who asks of you “to pick up your cross and follow him”, and the promise of “life in all its fullness” is actually a promise not of a safe passage a comfortable journey from the cradle to the grave, but rather a “white knuckle adventure of faith”.
I was wondering that too often we make the discipleship bar very low, we’ve cushioned our Churches with lovely leather sofas, served wonderful coffee, and in being seeker friendly let people consume worship and sermons without ever challenging people to make a response, to put this radical life into practice.
Being a Christian has always meant more than polling along to Church once a week and occasionally listening to a worship Album at home.
Its more than just being an attendee.
I was in the queue in a funky little coffee shop the other day and someone asked for a drink that was “decaf”, “fat free”, “skinny” with two shots of something sweet, and I wondered if that is what we have turned Christianity into? Warm -but not hot- unleaded with no risks to health or comfort and sickly sweet…
Yet Biblical Christianity had the founder turned the millionaire away telling him to sell all his possessions and give them to the poor whilst hanging out with the most insignificant people he could find.
Biblical Christianity saw the sick healed, the lame dance, demons cast out and the dead raised.
Biblical Christianity struck King Herod dead, and brought people back to life.
Biblical Christianity scared governments, terrified religious leaders and seeing nobodies become somebodies as they shared a message that was so controversial that many lost their lives for their faith.
I believe we have a generation who want something to live, a reason, a purpose and yet all they see is this comfortable risk adverse Christianity that is sickly sweet. We need to show that following Jesus is that rolla-costa life, building something that will last for all eternity. Partnering with the living God. Experiencing the indwelling spirit of the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the grave.
Christianity is dangerous.
Following Jesus is massively counter-cultural, and he’s not into settle-down, his plans for you may be different from any chocolate box idealized future you may have dreamed for yourself, yet going Jesus’ way isn’t a waste of a life, it is doing the good works that were prepared for you before the creation of the world, how cool is that?
Let’s show the world a Christianity which looks more like Jesus which (to quote the 24-7 story) “makes children laugh and adults angry”.
Lets show the world a dangerous Christianity, that isn’t tepid, sickly sweet without a kick or cost, but is fully caffeinated, full fat and lived in full.
A life where our non believing friends look at us and say “I want what they’ve got, it looks exciting”.