Dangerous for the Whole Family!

Ok, so now that I've been back in Atlanta for about two months, I thought I'd start up my blog again. Since I'm no longer doing full time mission work, I thought I'd transition the blog to some thoughts I've been having about life, living in Atlanta, and the church. We'll see what happens...

So last week I was driving down to Valdosta early in the morning, and I heard something on the radio that got me thinking. I was scanning through a few stations and ended up on 104.7 The Fish. Besides the fact that they mostly play recycled songs from the early 90's, something disturbed me about the station. Their promotional tag line is "Safe for the Whole Family", which seems like a pretty standard non-denominational motto for a spiritual radio station, but I started wondering, is "staying safe" what we've reduced the Christian life to?

The actual picture on the index page of 104.7 The Fish

Let me preface this by saying that I know "Safe for the Whole Family" is just a marketing ploy to target The Fish's middle-class soccer mom demographic, but I can't help but think that this attitude is a large part of the problem with the modern church. Let me explain:

From what I've read, God does not seem to be very concerned with "staying safe". In the Old Testament, God allows Job to have his entire life destroyed before his eyes, Israel runs away from Pharaoh into the desert and David, the man after God's own heart, was chased out of town by his crazy boss (who happens to be the king), Saul. So far this doesn't look exactly like living in a planned community in the suburbs.

Charlton Heston, pre-NRA

In the New Testament, Jesus comes into the picture by being born in an animal shelter to an unwed couple, and his family fleeing for their new son's life. Later Jesus spent a lot of time on the wrong side of town with some unsavory characters, including greedy tax collectors, prostitutes and probably Lindsay Lohan and the cast of "Jersey Shore". Finally, God allows his one and only son to be murdered by his own people to absolve the sins of billions of people who won't really appreciate what he's done.

Even Jesus loves a good Snooki poof

Finally, we come to the apostles, who seem to be the antithesis of safe living. All but one of them were beheaded, crucified, skinned alive or otherwise murdered. Paul, another prominent figure in the New Testament, was ship wrecked, thrown in jail a few times, was on death row and was put under house arrest. Not only is this not "safe", it's beginning to sound suspiciously like a Tupac album, who incidentally, has never been played on 104.7 The Fish (trust me, I checked).

Tupac gets no love from The Fish

My point is this: We should not be scared about the world in which we live. Yeah, there's a lot of bad stuff out there that we should protect our kids from, and we shouldn't flirt with the things that cause us to sin, but we should by no means live in a vacuum. In fact, the Bible calls us to do quite the opposite. Be a light in the darkness. Visit those in prison. Bring hope to the hopeless.

True Christianity is very dangerous. It requires us to shun the status quo and give up our old comfortable life to take on a new one. It calls us to the counter intuitive act of admitting we are not good enough by ourselves. It begs us to trust that there is a higher power and a plan for our lives- even when we don't see the bigger picture. In Christianity, true safety comes by living a life of constant faith and trust, hoping in the grace of Jesus Christ, not by making sure your ten year old doesn't hear the word "ass" on your morning commute (trust me, he's already heard it more than once).

So to 104.7 The Fish, I ask two things:

1. Start playing something other than lame, rehashed Newsboys songs. They were never good in the first place, and there is a ton of awesome Christian music out there. Future of Forestry and Mutemath would be a good starting point.
2. Stop lying to us that Christianity is safe. It isn't, and if it is, we're doing it wrong.

6 comments:

  1. Jonathan said...:

    "Yeah, there's a lot of bad stuff out there that we should protect our kids from, and we shouldn't flirt with the things that cause us to sin, but we should by no means live in a vacuum."

    Good stuff Brian! Many people have a hard time with the in the world/of the world divide/balance/whatever. I think you've summed it up really well.

    You write well. Looking forward to more!

  1. Ben said...:

    Bryan,

    Well done sir. I think pretty much the whole western church needs to stop trying to Gerber-ize itself to create theology to fit our suburbia-soccer mom lifestyles. I enjoyed your implementation of Mr. Pac and Jersey Shore... I am sure you have already offended people.

    Well, I hope people get this and I think I know where you and I are supposed to start. I hope to read more from you as well Don Bryan.

  1. Matt said...:

    Brian,

    Long time no talk friend. I like your insight, keep blogging.

    Matt Long

  1. Tom Hudgens said...:

    I totally agree on your premise that the last thing the Christian Church needs to be is safe. As a measure of truth and ideas that sounds a lot like "lukewarm" and we already know what the Lord thought about that one! like your ideas

    Tom Hudgens / thudspoetryblog.blogspot.com or on first meth. church site

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