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Can Christianity be more than safe?

Posted by Chance on March 8, 2007


Originally posted at my friend Josh’s site, Gabbatha.

There’s a local Christian radio station in town that has the slogan “Safe for the Whole Family.” I suppose the slogan is apt, because many songs on secular radio nowadays is not suitable for children, and really, for that matter, adults. At the same time, I don’t know if I like the slogan, because of the word “safe.” This is not to knock the radio station or its advertising, even though I like my Christian music with a little more kick than you typically find on the radio. At the same time, however, Christian music is more about being “safe”, it’s about glorifying God. I see the same with the perception of Christianity in general. It’s more about being “safe”, don’t do this, don’t do that, eat your green vegetables, etc… Christianity is supposed to be an adventure. Look at Paul or Isaiah or most of all, look at Jesus. These people were slain for their beliefs or for who they were. I don’t think Jesus had a permanent address and often said things to get Himself into trouble. These people lived lives that were hardly called “safe.” I believe that many people today who truly live their faith can often live lives that are uncomfortable. The fact that I do not receive many challenges because of my faith is something that convicts me.

I love the part in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Lucy, a hero of the story asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan (the lion and an image of Jesus) if Aslan is safe.
Is Aslan wild? “‘He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion’” Is Aslan safe? “‘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’”

Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Now, when I hear abundant life, I don’t imagine a safe life, but a life lived to the full in Christ.

The book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge focuses on the idea that being a Christian man is not about being “safe”, but about longing “for a battle to fight, an adventure to live…” Eldredge has a similar book called Captivating designed for the Christian female.

And again, I know I am reading much more into the radio slogan “Safe for the Whole Family” than is warranted, I just think “safe” is a word that is used too often in describing Christianity.

Not that my Christian walk is really “adventurous.” If anyone needs to take these words to heart, it’s me, and I have to figure out what it means to live a life that is not “safe.” These are just some thoughts I had. What are your thoughts?

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7 Responses to “Can Christianity be more than safe?”

  1. Josh said

    Their sister company must be out of Dallas, because I hear the same slogan from time to time.

    Hopefully the church & the world’s view of Christianity will change. It sure wasn’t safe in the New Testament church.

  2. Neil said

    That must be a standard Christian radio slogan. I heard it when visiting Cleveland.

    Great points. Love the Aslan quote. We shouldn’t be reckless as Christians, but “safe” certainly isn’t the goal either.

    If you want to get your pulse pounding, share the Gospel with someone. Mission trips aren’t for everyone but they can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone. I just did a prison ministry weekend for the first time which was a great experience. I just encourage people to be intentional about finding something they have a passion for.

  3. Dan Trabue said

    “At the same time, however, Christian music is more about being “safe””

    Amen and amen, brother. There is SO much more to Christianity than being “safe” – in fact – being safe is NOwhere to be found in biblical talk about how we should live.

    We are to be strong and courageous. We are to pour out our lives. We are to look after the least of these – even at some personal risk. We are to be fools for Jesus.

    THIS, to me, is one of the fundamental problems with modern conservatism as it is practiced in the mainstream. (We need a military to defend us. We need to watch out for certain areas of town. We need to beware certain types of folk. We need to beware certain types of thinking…)

    I think you’ve hammered the nail on the head with this post.

    That great heroine, Helen Keller, said it well:

    Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

  4. Dan Trabue said

    Linking this to a later post, did you know that Helen Keller was a socialist, a pacifist and helped found the ACLU?

  5. Michael Westmoreland-White said

    Let’s see, how to have a Christianity that isn’t tame, but reflects the risky Jesus of the NT: Reject wealth and live simply, giving away all money to justice and peace groups above what we need to survive; reject militarism and violence, embrace nonviolence; join a Christian Peacemaker Team trip to Iraq or a Witness for Peace trip to Columbia and bear witness to your love of enemies in the middle of a war zone; move to a poor neighborhood; go to a congregation where there are people of different races, cultures, etc. than you; invest in no interest micro-loans to the poor.

    These are a few baby steps–nothing radical.

  6. Chance said

    Well, if we are getting political, I would suggest helping out with pregnancy crisis centers and giving money to pro-life organizations. Starting a career center to help poor people get some work and get on their feet. Help the Institute for Justice get rid of bureaucratic red-tape so that poor African American women can braid people’s hair and make money at it without needing the ‘appropriate’ classes and licenses.

  7. […] was going to sleep the next night on many occasions.  I have blogged before on the idea of “safe Christianity“.  Christianity, and even life in general, may involve taking […]

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