Monday, January 11, 2010

On Safety

Abraham Piper’s blog, 22 Words, had this to say yesterday:

A guest post by Wesley Hill.

Why does a Christian radio station bill itself as “safe for the whole family”? Whatever else Christianity is, it certainly isn’t that.

This reminds me of of a sequence in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you, he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea...."

"Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

In our culture, we tend to think of Christianity as being “safe”. What is safety, though? If we are talking about being risk-free, with no chance of pain or suffering, then God and Christianity are most certainly not “safe”.

When we give our lives to Jesus, we start a on an amazing adventure, but it’s not a risk-free adventure. In fact, Jesus himself tells us “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). This is not the only time that this sentiment is expressed by Jesus. In Matthew 10, we are told to expect to be arrested and persecuted on Jesus’ account. Not exactly a “safe” faith.

So, why in the world should we follow Jesus? From what I’ve just written, it sounds like Christians must be psychotic!! The reason is found in the second quote – because Jesus is good – and he’s God. (In the book, Aslan is the character that represents Jesus.) We may not expect safety here on earth, yet we can expect abundant life!! I know that’s some kind of crazy paradox.

I think the best place to try to understand this (although, I don’t think we’ll ever really get it until we meet Jesus face to face) is in the book of Philippians. Paul tells us in this letter about having joy in spite of our earthly sufferings. Paul writes in the fourth chapter that he has learned to be content whatever his circumstances. The whole book encourages us to live life for Jesus, to pray regularly, and to keep our thoughts on Jesus. These are some of the steps we can do to keep walking with Jesus.

And even though every step is a new and exciting adventure, we can have peace that, whatever happens here on this earth, we have a Savior who loves us and is waiting for us. So, let us give up this illusion of having a “safe”, comfortable life that we control, and let Jesus tell us where to go and what to do next!!

P.S. I feel sure that the radio station advertisement was trying to say that their programming and ads are family-friendly, without foul language or other objectionable material.

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