I recently read a piece from a well-known figure in the church leadership world. He wrote of a zero-tolerance policy for any language or practice within their church that did not make sense to those who were uncommitted to the story of God. I think I understand – and agree with – some of his concern. I am beyond done with caveman Christianity, practicing the faith with near total disregard for the questions and realities of our friends who are among the unconvinced. I too share irritation at flat, tired Christian lingo, the entire ghetto mentality prevalent in many of our Christian subcultures.
I’m actually drawn the opposite direction. Rather than railing against those things that make little sense to those outside faith, I believe the gospel calls us to live toward realities that don’t make a single bit of sense to any of us, no matter what angle we come from.
Truly, the kingdom of God is laughable, if we take it seriously.
~the way to save your life is to give it away
~love your enemies
~seek the peace of all, even those you despise (or who despise you)
~live for others above self
~take risks and abandon control
~believe that Jesus rose from the dead – and one day will bring all dead things to life
~give yourself to the long, hard work of community
~abandon the droning, captivating sounds of selfish consumerism
~care for the least among us
~live as though success does not determine our identity
Based on the cultures we have breathed in and on the selfish nature of our own heart, we would have to say that those lines are idyllic nonsense, complete poppycock.
And yet, this is precisely the life Jesus calls us to. If we seek to be communities of people living in Jesus’ way, we are embarking on the ludicrous. If the way we live and speak and love makes sense to those around us – or to ourselves – I fear we are wildly off course.
Here’s to the ludicrous life…