Angles and prophets carried a message of hope and God’s great deeds in ages past. Now, celebrity preachers write books, travel to conferences, and leave pulpits to further their ministry. Why do our methods of proclaiming the topsy-turvy kingdom of God now look so sleek,so familiar to our internet culture? Inverting the old ways just leads to something we are comfortable with, something like us, something devoid of prophetic life.
The value of a martyr is not that they are brave enough to die. The true glory of martyrdom is the life preceding the death, a life that by its very way of expression proclaims something so different, so other, so holy they powers that be deem it as a threat to their familiar, their safe, their way of wielding power.
So, why does a blessed christian life look so much like the American dream? Why do pastors we think successful look like CEO’s, motivational speakers, and entrepreneurs?
The danger of conforming to the world is not that we will end up looking like the unwashed masses. The real devastation comes when our life loses its prophetic voice because the home we point to looks exactly like the demon of success. Maybe we should sell everything we have, give the money to the poor, and follow Jesus… not because poverty is more spiritually pure, but rather because that kind of action is so unfamiliar to our beautiful, savvy culture that shops at Ikea.
If our Message is Jesus and his new kind of life, should we really be telling people Jesus will give them everything they have ever day dreamed of?