Sunday, May 15, 2011

Something Worth Screaming About

Today I was sitting in church and I was overcome with a feeling I can't remember ever having in church. I wanted to break out in applause. I wanted to stamp my feet and to cheer. I wanted to get a little loud, a little loose, a little throaty. I would liken it to the way I cheer for the Seahawks, really. This is not who I am. This is not who my wife is. But I was telling her that I was feeling this way on the ride home, and she told me she was feeling the exact same way.

We had a pastor from India give the sermon today. He was talking about being a Hindu and deciding to read the Bible. He hated it. Why wouldn't he? It was telling him that what he believed all his life, in the plurality of the gods, was dead wrong. But the stories were interesting enough, so he kept reading. And it kept pissing him off. This went on for months. Then one night he went to bed, got up the next morning and he knew he was a Christian. He wanted to plant churches. He wanted to start a Bible institute. He did these things. And he founded an orphanage. They're up to 140 kids right now. Instead of these children being consigned to a life of back breaking labor, or worse, they're going to college and becoming engineers and doctors. These hopeless orphans will get an education and a chance because he happens to believe that a dead guy got up and walked after three days in a tomb 2,000 years ago. If that is any less deserving of a full-throated primal scream than a 40 yard touchdown pass then this life isn't worth living.

His incredible tales of provision, grace and change left a new motto lingering in my brain. "Christianity—We're not Effin Around." I know it isn't proper, but I'm sorry, we're just not. We don't believe in some middling do-goodery. We weren't charged with being moderate, even keeled and fair. Christians went for the whole damn enchilada. We're saying we've received a divine directive from the creator, author, king and sustainer of the universe to go and give aid and comfort to a crippled world. We're supposed to consider hookers before ourselves, to give of our time, talent and treasure in a frankly wreckless fashion. Are most of us doing that? No. But when you see it actually happening, well it's enough to make you say, "Boy, we're really not effin around, at least we shouldn't be. We've got the backing of Almighty God, and he wants us to flagrantly love a dying world." It's enough to, if your heart isn't too hard, make you want to clap your hands until they bleed, and scream your voice away for awhile.

6 comments:

Amanda said...

... Awesome. I'm pretty sure I need to write that motto down; "Christianity- We're not effing around." Recently, I have been struck more and more with the difference between the universal offensiveness of the Gospel, with today's watered down thoughts of "I need to be a nice person, because I am a Christian". Jesus didn't ask us to make sure we don't make anyone uncomfortable... He did, however warn us not to be surprised that the world hates us (1 John 3:13) when we live for Him.

Jessica DesLongchamp said...

What a true and awesome reminder, the line about the "primal scream" made me tear up. Nice post.

alfonso said...

Amen! Sunday felt like the locker room speech at halftime. I felt like my heart was screaming "let me in, coach". When Fonso and I got in the car he looked at me and said "damn, girl!" and I knew exactly what he meant. (:

Thank you, Jesus!

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly said...

Our former pastor would say, 'Don't tell me that shouting out praises and clapping your hands in church just isn't your style. I've seen you at a football game loosing your natural mind! How much more excited should we be about our Lord and Savior who went to the cross in our place?'

Jason Dean said...

Thank you peoples! a few responses: @Amanda--yeah, we shouldn't be surprised when we're hated, but sometimes we're hated for good reason. I like to temper that 1 John 3 verse w/ where it says, somewhere, "to those who are dying we are the stench of death, but to those who are being renewed we are the sweet aroma of life."

@Mona--Yes! I'm so glad to hear so many people were as affected as I was by the sermon :)

@Kimberly--Yep, I used to think pastors were being manipulative when they said that (I mean, I don't jump up & down for a raise, but it means more to me than a touchdown), but I feel like I caught a glimpse Sunday of what that can mean...