We have an idea of what is safe. We live in a culture that is obsessed with so much need for security and safety that we might as well bubble wrap our children as we send them to the playground. And not just physical safety. We are obsessed with the need for “safe” men, “safe” women. Unfortunately, some of the closest to this ideal are Christians. People send their children to “Christian” schools b/c there is a desire for a safer environment, and safer teachers. Since when did safety become the poster child for Jesus?
Backing up, Macdonald says, “a man will please God better by believing some things that are not told him,” and thus the questions, “But is this not dangerous? Will not a man be taught thus to believe the things he likes best...?” In other words, is it not dangerous to trust a man to hear from the God who made him, to trust a woman who listens not just what others tell her about herself, about her reality, but the One who made her?
And it is Macdonald’s words, that with which I began this diatribe, that are his response. It is the Christian covered in Churchianity , the Pharisee that seems to have it together, that seems to be the safe one. In truth, it is the Christ-one nearly reckless in passion by his closeness to God’s heartbeat, the John the Baptists in the desert with the appearance of danger who is in fact the safer. The tame follower of Jesus ultimately dares nothing. The one who plunges into the fire that is God dares everything and threatens our notions of civility and security; running around like a twister of flame setting all the dry and parched lands on fire. And as Macdonald says, “If still he clings to that which can be burned, the burning goes deeper and deeper till it reaches the roots of the lie that enslaves him- possibly looking like truth - escape is hopeless. For Love is inexorable. Our God is a consuming fire.”
(Just in case you thought the word “fire” and God had more to do with judgement and wrath...Fire in this context has more to do with Love...and who isn’t drawn to a Love that is on fire?)
Who would you trust more? Who would you want to be more like? (And this isn’t just about you, this about the person next you...especially the ones you thought were the “ideal” of Christianity...often the ones that have much in common with Ned Flanders.)
With whom do you take company?
Dare nothing, become nothing. Dare everything, become everything you were meant to be.
(PS - Click the "Fire...Safety" title and it will take you to a picture that says it all)