Keep In Mind We’re Crazy, Or Holding The Parachute Under The Tree

I’m gonna stand up for sinners again.

If you’re a teenager with your folks out of town for the weekend then you only have one choice: throw an epic party. However when planning this party you have many considerations: hide valuables, buy lots of cleaning supplies, and whatever you do please don’t invite the Christians from your school. They’re the party killers.

To most of the world this is the reputation we’ve earned. We rain on parades and are the messengers telling people that all of the stuff they’re doing is wrong.

We have become the watchdogs for our culture – ever adding to the hopelessly long list of sinful things in our world. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing – Christians stand for hope, love, holiness and a redeemed world so it would only make sense that we are aware of the depravity inhabiting the world and calling it into the light.

See?! The decadent pleasures of this life are tempting... You salivated, I know it.

But we forget a few things in the process…

  • Sex feels good. That’s why so many people are doing.
  • Having a buzz feels good.
  • Buying stuff feels good.
  • Etc.

Pursuing earthly pleasures and treasures is all most people know because it is what they can touch, smell, see and hear. You can’t blame people too much for this – yet we often freak out over these things as if we can’t understand why people choose to have sex and have a few beers. 

It’s no wonder people fall for this stuff again and again. And as such, I think it’d do Christians good to realize that people don’t go for this stuff because they’re illogical and hellbent on evil with a lustful appetite for sin.

It’s as if we forget how counter-intuitive the Christian way really is. We are telling people that God is not big and flashy like you’d think but in fact a humble servant among men who cares more for love and forgiveness than throwing his weight around. Our message is that our love, which dies to ourselves for the sake of others, is better than all the treasure and pleasure in the world…. They’re not the most natural beliefs to hold.

Our message is our own stumbling block, so it only makes sense that people don’t buy it right away. So let’s give ’em a little grace. Their initial judgment, if we’re honest, is a fair one.

Instead of pointing our fingers and condemning them as they go along their path, maybe we should try being there for them when they realize the destructiveness it creates. Instead of being the watch dogs, maybe we should be the ones holding the parachute to help break the fall. Because they will. If you take these things to their conclusion (alcoholism, a trail of broken hearts, and all the money in the world yet still not happy) then they’ll see what we mean. But til then, we’re the ones who are a bit crazy – not them. If anything, we’ll only drive them crazy (and away from us) with our condemnation.

Care to agree or disagree?

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17 Responses to Keep In Mind We’re Crazy, Or Holding The Parachute Under The Tree

  1. Love the last paragraph Charlie. Because of my position, I have tended to be somewhat judgmental in the past. I have tried really, really hard to make that change over the past several years. i want to be the one holding the parachute for them when they fall or find out what they were pursuing is not all it was cracked up to be. Excellent thoughts this morning.

    • thanks Bill. In my teenage years I was more of the style of “look at what all those crazy non-Christians are getting themselves into. What fools!” It seems like many of us have to go through that phase in order to have grace for “those.”

  2. David says:

    If Christianity is about rules for living, I totally agree. Throw the epic party (why Christians can’t join in without sinning is beyond me – Jesus did!) and or have an orgy!

    Christianity is not about rules or being good, religion is. It is about a relationship with Jesus in which we speak to him and he speaks to us. If we truly know Him, we’ll want to please him. Because he is our Father, he will tell us exactly what the boundaries are, and discipline us as needed. He will love us as a parent.

    God has the same job as our parents. There is no decent parent that let’s his kids run wild endangering themselves or others. Kids who end up at epic parties were not taught the rules, or they beat about the head with hypocritical religion; there is no difference!

    Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but dead people live. Unless we live a life that reflects the supernatural power of God, we are crazy.

    • ultimately we can’t expect too much morality from non-Christians because they haven’t been transformed or renewed by Jesus. They haven’t had that radical encounter. So why do we even bother condemning them?

      Oh, and I can get down with a Jesus that likes to party (so interesting that Scripture records him at parties – so glad Jesus didn’t just come to earth to hang out in sanctuaries).

      • David says:

        I don’t expect morality from anyone. The idea of good and bad is not God. I expect God to manage those things though those that know Him.

  3. Carla says:

    Hey, I like sex. I also like beer and wine. And I love Jesus. But I tend to break a lot of stereotypes.

    Whenever there is lamenting about the state of the world and the depravity that reigns my husband always reminds me that we are talking about unregenerated people. These people have not been filled with Christ and His love and peace so of course these people are going to try to fill their emptiness up with something. Everyone eventually finds out that sex, money, alcohol, food, drugs, whatever never fills the void. It is our job as Christians to love them and show them that a relationship of unconditional love can fill the emptiness inside of them. A set of rules never completed a single person, but the love of Christ has completed millions. The World has this idea that Christians are all about rules and regulations when that is not what we are about (because I would argue that anyone who is legalistic doesn’t fully know the relational aspect of Christianity). We should be living our lives in a way that the World looks at us and wants to know what we got that they don’t. The World isn’t supposed to look and see people imprisoned by rules and ideologies but people who have been set free by love. The things I do and don’t do aren’t based on an idea of right and wrong but on a desire to serve Christ. Sometimes we focus on being the right kind of Christian that we forget to simply live for Christ. I think when we live to please Him our lives speak to those who are empty.
    Great post Charlie.

    • and great response Carla! It actually makes sense that people would chose those routes due to the hole in their heart – and if anything some of those pursuits may actually be a good thing as they quickly show the person how empty they are. I am so glad Christianity doesn’t offer religion with rules but a God-man who isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty.

  4. Tony Alicea says:

    Agreed but interestingly enough, the Christians I know tend to be more judgemental towards other Christians rather than towards the world. The in-fighting is what breaks my heart.

    Sometimes it’s easier to show grace towards those that don’t know God, but harder to show grace to those that claim to be following Jesus. I’ll admit that I do it, but I try to be as conscious of it as possible. Show grace, proclaim truth.

  5. Su says:

    I’m sorry, you brought the chocolate-covered strawberries and now I can’t see any of those words you typed.

    But I got the gist– yep, agree.

  6. Larry Hehn says:

    Agree!
    Now to find me some chocolate-covered strawberries…

  7. Cindy Holman says:

    Great article – loved it.

  8. sue says:

    A few years ago, steered clear of Scripture. It made me bristle. Having since surrendered my life to the Lord, parties have lost their glitter. As for being old (50+) old people like to party – it’s just their hours and the substances are different than back in the day. Being one of the Lord’s, life is good and par-tahs are seriously overrated.

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