It’s too easy to say “I got wrecked.”
I listened to Paul Washer or John Piper or Francis Chan, and I got so wrecked. We all read the same Christian books and get so convicted. We read those Christian blogs that are deadly serious and we feel “on fire”, and then we read those snarky satirical “I’m above church-culture” blogs and we feel like we’re above it all too.
We are the same hundred thousand people in America going to the same conferences with the same speakers and the same hit songs. There’s a lot of hard-hitting wreckage going on here —
— but I quickly deceive myself. I think that just because I did these things, I win Christian-Cool-Points. No one would ever say it out loud — “I’m winning at this walking-with-Jesus thing!” — but we think that the act of absorbing Christian memorabilia is equivalent to true conviction and repentance.
We can line up at Chick Fil A to protest something, and meanwhile the church hates poor people. We have these abstract high-minded online fights about doctrine, which are probably important to someone, and meanwhile we sing praise songs just loud enough to drown out human trafficking and fatherless homes and Gospel-less urban communities.
If you think that’s the “new legalism” or “Social Justice,” I’m really tired of finding excuses to back out of Kingdom-Healing. I’m tired of Christians yelling “Don’t guilt-trip me” or “You’re a Pharisee” or making radical into a bad word.
Of course we can slip into legalism if we’re not careful. I just hope you’re not paying off your conscience with more self-deception, because it’s way easier to get lukewarm than fire-hot. It’s easy to say ”I got wrecked” than to be actually be wrecked.
I do love to enjoy the latest big-name podcast. I love blogs and blogging. I love singing with thousands of other people at giant conferences. I like to turn my conference attendance into watercooler talk about the “best speaker” and “my favorite parts” and “what I didn’t like,” as if I’m part of a church fandom. Reading John Piper in your underwear is really cool, and you’ve possibly reached a greater faith doing that, and you didn’t even need pants for it.
All this is good and God-ordained. We need to soak in right doctrine to steer right and avoid heresy. But the greater heresy is cutting off your own hands and feet to the world as the sent Body of Christ. The sober reality is that we get so emotionally amped up in our Christianese circles but do absolutely nothing. And then I write posts like this one and only add to the problem.
Can we just maybe possibly consider doing what God says?
Not because some blogger guilt-tripped you — but because it might actually turn out awesome and glorious? That God has much more for you than getting wrecked in your shorts? That maybe the sermon wasn’t meant to tickle your heart, but actually get you to do the crazy tough radical thing for Jesus? Could we be both emotional AND in motion?
When you step out into the world and you love on messed up people: then without a doubt, you will absolutely get wrecked.
We’re not merely saved to soak in. We are sent to pour out.
Go, my friend. If we must be convicted: let’s carry it beyond these walls.