Friday, December 30, 2011



Kevin White @ Mere Orthodoxy quotes Francis Chan:Here’s what I had to repent of: I had felt the need to soften a lot of Jesus’ statements, because in my arrogance I think, “Okay Jesus, I’m not going to say that like that. Trust me, people will like you more and be more willing to accept you if I say it like this.” Obviously I’ve never said that to God. But that’s the attitude I’ve taken, and it made me sick. Who in the heck do I think I am? To think that I can make God more palatable or attractive if I try and change the tone in which he says some things. I know people say, “Well it’s just cultural this or that.” That’s garbage. People back then had a much deeper reverence for God than we do. Especially the religious community. Yet it’s to those people whom he speaks so harshly.

What in the world would he say to us today? I don’t think it’d be a softer message. I had to come before God and say, “Lord I feel sick.” And I confessed to Mark [Beuving, who edited the book] and Preston [Sprinkle, the coauthor] as we were working on the book, “I confess to you guys, I confess to the church, I know I have backed away from certain things because of my arrogance. I thought I could attract more people to Jesus by hiding certain things about him.” I had to confess my arrogance.
Think about all the ways we discuss changing the tone of of what Jesus preached. Less than the words we use, we just ignore significant parts. My favorite is that we must always remember the grace of the cross comes from the same source that destroyed the world in a flood. The same Jesus that refused to defend Himself when on trail had just days before provoked that trial with acts of incredible anger and violence.

Or how about the arrogance of only letting the God that created us all only so far into our lives? Who, precisely, is supposed to be in charge here? And that is the bottom line, isn't it. Our faith is not something that we figure out and analyze and shape - it is something that shapes us.

On my trip tot he Holy Lands last summer, I walked into the Garden of Gethsemane and tears started to flow uncontrollably. When I talked to some people about it, they subjected the experience to much analysis - it was quiet, less crowded, most authenticated.... I listened for a minute and then walked away. Analyzing it makes it about me, I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit - that was enough.

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