Explosion, radical, risky, insane … Where are the ordinary Christians? One of the problems I have is to join the latest craze without thinking it through. Why does Biblical evangelism have to involve an explosion? Why does Biblical faith have to be radical? Why do I have to risk as a Christian? Why does God’s gracious, saving sovereignty have to be insane?
I think these words, and many like them, appeal to the worldliness of Christians. A Christian is not exploding with evangelism, radically obeying by faith, etc. A Christian is obeying the Bible and therefore pleasing God.
The world should look at the Christian and use these words to describe how different Christians are from the world. Instead, we use these of each other to describe those who are <fill in your adjective> Christians from those who aren’t meeting a standard we created. We should encourage each other in faithful obedience and lovingly confront those who are disobedient. We shouldn’t pretend that there are christians, Christians, and CHRISTIANS. We should live day by day repenting and believing, as we did at first, through every normal occurrence of the day. This is God’s providence for us, to be faithful in all that He brings to pass (which is everything) and He is pleased with that – He is pleased.
I started thinking about these things when I heard the September 1st, 2013 podcast of The White Horse Inn. I’m fairly far behind in my listening but they are so consistently good that I don’t want to just skip any of them. I’m glad, by God’s grace, I didn’t. I would highly recommend the whole Ordinary series.
Anyway, the point was that God calls many of us to normal life. Normal life can be difficult but Jesus Christ is sufficient. And He does not condemn us when we live by faith the life that He has given to us. That normal life can be especially difficult when there is a tide of adjectives drowning out the every-day life of Biblical Christianity.
As happens many times with the church, I wonder if we have just taken on the world’s craze and given it a twist (often as the world has finished with it). The world gave us extreme sports, extreme weight loss, extreme makeover, and even extreme ironing. Biblical Christianity teaches us faithful obedience in every circumstance. And it teaches that God is pleased that Christians are faithful in every circumstance He places them in. The White Horse Inn points to the loss of the doctrine of vocation. God gives and one of those gifts is work, even before The Fall, so we accept that gift and work hard at it and in it. By doing so Christians please God whether He has given them work as a busboy or engineer or salesman or mother or coach or pastor.