I’ve decided that I’m a spiritual daredevil, and that’s not just because I think it sounds cool. Well, that’s part of why I’m saying it, but it’s not the entire motivation. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that blogging about my faith and talking about it on the radio have been just as much a spiritual danger for me as they have helped me to grow. See the connection? I do stuff to try to bring people closer to Christ while endangering the quality of my relationship with him.
If you don’t get it, it’s probably because you don’t want me to be a daredevil as badly as I do. But the connection is there. I promise.
See, my goal when I post a blog and when I turn on the microphone is to ask new questions, raise new issues, look at things in a way they haven’t been looked at before, or do something else equally as ambitious (read: pretentious). Yeah, yeah, there’s all that stuff in Ecclesiastes about “nothing new under the sun,” but if you grew up in the Christian subculture like I did, you know what I’m getting at. There are some things that just get beat into the ground, while other perfectly good things get ignored.
And so when I decide it’s time to get preachy, I try to steer clear of those things I think of as “cliche Christian subjects.” They’ve been done before, and I’m an artist, for crying out loud. I’m not here to rehash the old. I’m here to bring a fresh perspective.
This is where I find myself moving into dangerous territory.
What are the “cliche Christian subjects,” after all? Salvation? The love of God? The importance of his glorification on Earth? We beat these things into the ground because they’re important.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to look for new connections or to address new issues. In fact, I think it’s a vital process for any growing Christian. But at the same time, I don’t believe this faith is about the periphery. I believe it’s about the big, central ideas. Paul said we can get as fancy as we want with spiritual gifts and social justice, but if we’re not doing what we do in love, it’s worthless:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – I Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
It all comes back to love. A love for Jesus that leads to a burning desire for his glorification around the world, and a love for people that leads us to spread the hope of Christ through them.
So yes, dig into your faith. Ask the hard questions. Engage with new issues. But don’t forget what this whole thing is really about.
Do you ever get bored of hearing the “same old” Christian message? Are you ever tempted to focus too much on the little things?