In the American church, the answer to the question “Is God safe?” surely is a resounding “yes.” I mean, God is always there, always comforting, and always accepting, right?
The way that I see it is, when we are done treating God like a giant holy vending machine that passes out goodies to everyone who puts prayer in, we can step into a better realization of who he actually is. Yes, he is always present, comforting, accepting, and pouring out blessings; but we can’t demote God to a happy happy joy joy God and loose sight of his holiness and power.
We seem to have turned church into a Sunday school, take your happy pill establishment where we proclaim, “Come on in where you will be safe from the naughty world.” One where we gasp at “bad people” and “pop culture.” Where we hide behind our church walls that magically keep out all the bad in the world.
We are Disciples of Christ! As I read through the Bible and every instance where Jesus called one of the disciples to follow him, I never see Jesus telling them that they will be safe. He never says, “Follow me and I’ll protect you from any wrong-doing and hard times.” As we read about their lives following Jesus, we see how tough their lives actually were.
There’s a line from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, that I love. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver are speaking about Aslan, the Christ-figure of Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, to the four kids that recently arrived in their land.
Mrs. Beaver says:
“If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”
“I’m longing to see him,” said Peter, “even if I do feel frightened when I comes to the point.”
Sorry to break out the nerd in me and quote a novel, but it makes a great point. “Safe? Of course not.” The all-powerful God will not be tamed and made safe by us. How often do you make God “safe” in your thoughts and language in speaking of him?
Contrary to what we may have been taught, living life like Christ is not safe. If safe is what you want, you may have to find a different God. And if you are living a “safe” Christianity, it’s not the Christianity that we’ve been called too. It’s time for us to get real and dirty, and love people like Christ loved people.
God’s majesty and holiness can never be belittled. It’s healthy to fear God. He is almighty, immortal, holy, glorious, unresting, great, and all-powerful. Our salvation is in HIS terms, not ours. We can never loose the feeling of awe and wonder towards our heavenly father.
We’re saved, but not safe.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!