Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Playing It Safe

It seems like so many in the church are playing it safe. We had our brother Trevor Johnson, missionary to Papua New Guinea last week and he testified to what God is doing amongst the Korawi tribe. Here is a man who gave himself and his family to be plucked up and planted. He has had malaria five times, their children often have to be de-wormed, several of the children of their co-laborers have been buried in the jungle. He has endured significant danger for the cause of Christ. Our brother, Brig, and his wife have been plucked up and planted in Israel. He is attempting to learn to speak in Hebrew. He has endured the loss of everything material. Our friend Walid endure danger and the potential loss of his freedom, or life, as he ministers to muslims.
I look at our congregation, and others I love, and we play if so safe. We are averse to risk. We huddle around in our homes, once a week making our way to church, determining that we will give only as much as allows us to remain comfortable. We shield our children and keep mostly to ourselves. We would never consider taking anything close to the amount of risk these brothers have taken. Why?
We protect ourselves from hurt, distancing ourselves from those brothers who say things that call us to give more of ourselves to The Cause. We isolate ourselves from those who differ from us in the things which are least central to the cause of Christ. We separate ourselves from those who cause us any discomfort or who may dare to challenge our way of thinking. We judge others who may not be as legalistic in their thinking and are free to serve, love and befriend people who simply wouldn't fit in with "our crowd". Some of us I feel would fit in more in a monastery and others would fit in more in some other type of cloistered community.
We are so uncomfortable with risk that we end up odd looking specimens of 20th century Christianity to the rest of the laborers around the world. We look silly. Christian, you look silly in your comfort.
Where is the risk in our lives that shows our faith? What are we risking? What? Why?

1 comment:

  1. That's a great post, Bob, and a much needed exhortation. I've found John Piper's ministry to be helpful on this point. He's one of the few prominent Christian leaders calling the church to embrace risk.