08 May 2010

playing offensive

Vince Lombardi once famously said to his players, in an effort to get them back to the fundamentals of their game, "Gentlemen, this is a football. Our goal is to get this ball across that line and to prevent the other team from doing the same." Over the course of time a handful of preachers have been inspired by this story and have gone to their pulpits with a message regarding the widespread biblical illiteracy of our culture and made a call for the church to return to its most fundamental truth.

I am one of those preachers.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Bible."

I believe that this statement is a powerful challenge to the current state of the church and said so very directly and passionately as the climax of my inaugural sermon as Senior Pastor of my current church. I have since been told that my statement was "offensive" - by a few Christians who were in attendance at the meeting. I suppose that I didn't quite know how to take such feedback in the moment that I heard it. I mean, where do you go with that? Then it hit me . . .

Of course it was offensive. The Bible happens to be the most offensive document which has ever met humanity on the road of unrighteousness. It is a direct and open challenge to everything that we are as humanity, tearing and ripping at our fallen flesh with the message of destruction and judgment. And for those who are seeking to have their ears tickled it will be nothing more than that.

But this book is also the most loving message that the universe has ever seen. It is the foundational revelation of truth and salvation. It contains the message of the only true hope for the world. It, along with Spirit, is the source and guide for life. And for those who are tenacious for its message it will unleash the full fury of heaven.

An overly PC world, lost in its own self-worth, will define offensive as nothing more than a rude message that only speaks of human failure. But to those with ears to hear, this Bible will prove itself to be playing offense - taking the reality of our situation and recording God's proactive movement to make everything right once again.

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