Difficulties, dangers, disease, death, or divisions don’t deter any but Chocolate Soldiers from executing God’s Will. When someone says there is a lion in the way, the real Christian promptly replies, “That’s hardly enough inducement for me; I want a bear or two besides to make it worth my while to go.”
CT Studd was a pedal to the metal, full bore dude, sort of like a gung ho marine guy. No messing around, just blast forward and go. Somehow or another we’ve tended to wimp out on the deal…. not sure quite why that is. Some might argue the feminization of Christianity, and perhaps that plays somewhat of a role, but I think using such a description is more likely self-justification, than reality.
Perhaps it is separation from the world, I about fell on the floor over the exit strategy being presented in Albert Mohlers book. Granted, he tends to lean towards peitism and a theology of glory, as contrasted with a theology of the cross, but still the world needs to be engaged. If our faith and those of our children is so fragile that it cant take daily onslaughts from US society, contemporary Christianity, discipleship, and education have much bigger problems, than the most screwball teachings of the public school systems.(and imho… I dont really see much of an issue in the public schools, other than funding, discipline, and bullying). Even a 14 year old should be able to give account of their faith… maybe not with great theological depth, nor the ability to counter atheistic apologetics, but most certainly Christian education oppurtunities abound, both in Sunday school and in the home for preparation to do so. Engaging the world is where its at… not retreating to a place of safety. If Christianity is to be safe and family friendly all the time, it looses a tremendous amount of power. Granted, there are times where retreating and shelter are ok, and actually a good idea… but those times best be in the minority… not something to be striven for on a continuous basis.
Scripture is filled with NSFW texts and stories… things which likely make many a modest person blush if read in mixed company. Yet, Jesus warned us not to cause those young in the faith to stumble, but He also warned us not to keep them from Him. Some churches thus break things apart into childrens and adult services…. I dont think that really was what Jesus had in mind. If anything…. children, Rabbis, prostitutes, fishermen, criminals, as well as John and Jane Doe all came, talked, and shared…. children were not kept from Jesus, but likely they were not kept from pretty intense discussions either.
The discipleship path of a Christian should give them the tools and the power of the word of God, such that a couple bears and a lion, become a a minor annoyance, rather than something to be fearful of. I think we are pretty close to that… but it need to become real, and perhaps that is where the rubber hits the road. Folks dont like to have their faith tested, much less by a lion and 2 bears, but indeed with testing comes growth and perhaps we need to look at that a little more, not sure. God most certainly tests us, but I’m wondering in the domain of discipleship, if we need a little more emphasis somehow on things getting real, perhaps too real.