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Sunday, October 29, 2006

When to be radical

I was standing in line for food the other day at York with a dear brother. I overheard a girl in line talking about some notable details from the most recent Pub Night. The guy making our pasta said, "did you get wrecked?" She was like, "I sure did." She proceeded to tell about how some people were outside standing on tables singing and how some other person had pulled the fire alarm, forcing everyone outside, at which point everyone joined in the table standing and singing. I sorta chuckled and thought about how all of these things can also be done when sober.

Now, pulling a fire alarm, and dancing on tables, and singing are all good times. I was struck with a Piper-esque vision of hundreds of wasted lives. I felt sick thinking that the truth and joy that I have found in Christ is completely unattractive and grossly offensive to the souls standing around me.

When are we to be radical? How much would sharing the gospel with all the people in line and the guys making the pasta do? We are in such a desperate situation. What are we to do with our message when most people would deny that they were drowning even when their breath ran out and they started to inhale water? If you have two minutes in the pasta line with someone whose eternal destination is torturous, what do you say? Do you ask a challenging question? Do you say something like, "that singing and alarm pulling sounds fun, but for halloween, I am getting together with a bunch of my Christian buddies to watch the game, and listen to a testimony from a guy about how Christ gave his life true purpose and his soul true comfort and his heart true forgiveness."

My question is, how can we be radical enough, and desperate enough. And when must we be?

My buddy said something good. He said, "dude, just make sure you don't confuse not speaking up because you don't want to turn people off and not speaking because you are afraid."


Blogger Jonathan P said...

I heard an adventure in Odyssey about Jeremiah on Saturday. Jeremiah kept at it for 40 years to try and get God's message to the people of Judah, and they still didn't listen

Isaiah had it even worse. He was TOLD that nobody would listen to him. And yet he still went out and gave that message like a pro.

Man those OT prophets had some guts and determination... Maybe they should be our example of when we need to be radical. For, unlike Isaiah and Jeremiah, thanks be to God some people still do listen to us.

Hey, tell this friend that he got it just right. Or if I know this person, say that I said so :)

8:46 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Hey there, Josh. We met (briefly) at Summit.. I'm a fellow Yorkie. :) Apologies for the length of this comment, I've a bit to unpack.

Since becoming a Christian not too long ago, I've been finding myself in this situation more and more often. It's an interesting experience, for as few as two months ago I could have been that girl, or that server. I've taken many opportunities to share my new faith, to plant seeds, to ask questions that get people going. Seeing the wheels begin to turn in the minds of my friends after challenging their misconceptions of God has been so satisfying... And yet I've found myself stifling my impulse to share lately, and the negative impact on my spiritual health has been resounding. I've denied God, in a way, and yet He remains ever faithful.

How radical can we be? It depends who you talk to. My life was almost literally destroyed before I was willing to consider Christ. 2 Cor 2:15 tells us that some may find us like sweet smelling incense of Christ, and others may find us to be like the stench of death. For a long time, I fell into the latter category, and I will be forever thankful that I've come to realize that that stench was actually my own life. So many Christians, it seems, seem fearful of stepping on the toes of others. However, how can we say we've acted out of love when we fail to throw a life preserver to those who are drowning? This person doesn't know you. they can choose to walk away. But if you never take that chance, how can you know?

Most everything I've said here is probably nothing new, but it still amazes me a month after Summit that there are those who will sit on their haunches...


Glad I found your blog, Josh, it's definitely been a good read so far. Hope you don't mind random crashers! ;)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Terra said...

good words erin.
your words ring clear.... keep singing them.

5:52 PM  
Blogger amac said...

thanks erin.

4:33 PM  
Blogger ChenAngel said...

so true Josh, reminds me of last week when some guy asked me if the bus had past by our stop and i told him yes and then thought...what if I asked him if he knew Jesus...just like that (which unfortunately i didn't) but makes you think...

7:40 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

good blog. good comments. kind of reminds me of the Erwin McManus talk "The Barbarian Way Out of Civilization" we BCers watched at Summit.

11:00 AM  

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