As a culture, we’ve become a people who are fascinated with taking risks. We love adventure sports, as seen by the fact that there are more X Games athletes and X Games events than at any other time in history. The X Games is now hosted 6 times a year, versus the typical 2 times due to the tremendous intrigue, demand and marketability for extreme sports. We love to watch people take risks.
Not only do we enjoy watching people take risks, but we also are tantalized by the risk of gambling. The Lottery is now hosted in 43 out of 50 states and there are just over 1500 casinos nationwide. The total revenue for casinos in Nevada alone was $10.8 BILLION in 2012. That’s ten billion….with a “B”. That’s nearly equal to the GDP of the Bahamas.
We are completely obsessed with taking risks, crossing boundaries and pushing the limits of what we think is humanly possible. We are thirsty to see that next person crash through a boundary that we felt was once impossible.
Yet, have we become mundane in our faith? Where is that same thirst for boldness? Where is that same hunger that is not halted by man made limits? It seems as if we have become bold in everything but our faith. Victor Kuligin speaks of our passive faith and passive view of God as:
We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him ‘meek and mild’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. We love the Lamb of God, but have discarded the Lion of Judah.
In our pursuit of of a more culturally appealing Christianity we have removed the aggressive, holy and profoundly just portions of God’s character in our pronouncements to the world. But in doing so, we have removed any sort of bold claim that the Gospel holds on the world itself.
Our softening of the Gospel has lead to a softening of the church. We are now contained within the walls of church, chained to our pews and are being told by the culture at large to stay there. Tolerance is now a virtue that is the religious boundary that we dare not cross. The faith that countless martyrs have died for is now a faith where churches do not boldly speak for fear of losing tax exempt status.
Have we forgotten so much of God’s call on our lives to go and take the Gospel? Have we missed the call to leave everything behind & not look back that we may follow Christ? Our faith is one that must count a high cost to proclaim the One who will one day be highly exalted. The cost of being a disciple is a willingness to count the cost, take up the cross and lose everything that we may gain Christ. Our faith is one that is meant to be bold. To take risks. To go to war.
The language of the faith in Ephesians 6 is one that is steeped in being bold in the midst of a world that wants nothing more than to extinguish the message we hold to. That is why we are given the armor of God: that we may live in faith, withstand the attacks of the enemy and carry the Gospel with us wherever we go. Paul’s words towards the end of chapter 6 are priceless as it says in verses 18b – 20:
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
God may my faith be just as Paul prayed. “That I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”