Playing the Fool
"We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ!" (1 Corinthians 4:10)
I wonder if all of us in the modern American church are prepared to make good of that verse. It's not the sort of verse you put on the fridge, and not something you hear preached much from the pulpit these days.
We hear a lot more "here's what's in it for you" and much less "you're going to look like a total blithering fool when you follow Christ."
I believe the body of Christ has received a wake-up call in 2020. With all the confusions, conflict, and downright insanity coming from every area of culture and government, the issue is, who really has the answer?
The church! True followers of Christ literally carry the answer to life, salvation, and society inside our hearts (Romans 10:9-10). It is time for the body of believers to rise up in all spheres of influence and be the answer to a world that is drowning in chaos.
But how do we do it? Simple. We have to become fools.
"Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)
It seems like a good number of churchgoers nowadays are operating in the same "wisdom" as the rest of the world; I am continually amazed at how little some professed Christians actually know about the Word of God, especially in regard to hot cultural topics like abortion and gender issues, but also basic biblical understandings such as salvation, the blood, the cross, the reality of the devil and the reality of hell (i.e. the reality of eternal consequence), just to name a few.
It has also been eye-opening to see how many churchgoers have reacted with the exact same fear, worry, dread, and trembling as the world during all the hysteria of 2020 (see the "god of Media" blog for more on that), putting more faith and trust in media headlines than in God!
This is not to condemn American Christians, but rather to encourage American Christians that the time has come for us to stand up, stand strong, and take our rightful place in society. We hold the key, we hold the answer, but we have to be prepared to be fools! That is, we have to be ready to look different, act different, and be treated differently. The world is supposed to look at God's people and say, "What have you got that I haven't got?"
I think more and more these days the world sees very little difference between the American Christian and a non-believer. It's not about acting silly or religious, and it's not about trying to do things in our own strength. But it is about being set apart. "Know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him." (Psalms 4:3)
"You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
It's okay to not be afraid of what the world is afraid of. It's okay to have faith when others are faltering. It's okay to have peace in the midst of the storm. It's okay to stand when others are sitting. It's okay to go forward when the rest of the world is shrinking back.
But that's going to look foolish to the world! That might even look outright stupid! How many times throughout history has the church been accused of being unwise, illogical, unloving, uncaring, or just plain wrong? That's because doing what is wise in the eyes of God is going to look foolish to a world that does not understand "the mystery revealed" as Paul talks about in Ephesians 3.
The "mystery of Christ" has to be revealed to you before the "foolishness of God" becomes true wisdom, and the "wisdom" of the world becomes foolishness.
"For since the creation of the world His attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools. . ." (Romans 1: 20-22)
"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money. . .lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away. . . .always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:2-7)
It's a lost and hurting world, and the mass hysteria of confusion and unrest has reached fever pitch. Yes, Christians need to be good and law-abiding citizens, but if we are doing as the world is doing and looking to earthly institutions and earthly wisdom for the answers to society and life in general, then we have missed the mark.
It is time for us to do what is foolish to the world- believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ and believe that His kingdom is advancing all across the face of the earth. . .and He has called us to be a part of that expansion!