Dorothy L Sayers wrote “We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah,” turning Jesus “into a household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”
The more I consider it, the more it seems to be true. We ask very little of God these days. Jesus’ Name was given that all may be saved, not that we can find the trivial little efforts we use it for today.
Now I’m NOT saying we can’t ask God for the details. He cares about every aspect of our lives down to the minutest molecule. I was marvelling at the intricacy of the flowers on the mint plant in my garden yesterday, and the tiny detail in it. Everything serves a greater purpose so He can be Glorified through it’s existence.
Rather we must ask God for the details He wants for us. He is a fierce God who jealously guards the lives entrusted to Him. His plans are complete and good, with a plan for prosperity for His people. To prosper we have to step on toes sometimes. Spiritual prosperity inevitably involves doing and saying things that will offend the beliefs of others. Christianity is radically different from Islam, Hinduism or the myriad of other beliefs in the world. It should offend the religious sensitivities of others. If my Christianity doesn’t differentiate me from a Muslim, I’m not living it right!
Now I’m NOT saying we must set out to upset our Muslim neighbours. Don’t get me wrong on this. I have friends who are devout Muslims and good people, their beliefs are strong, and they are moral and solid people. The issue is that ultimately they do not have a relationship with Jesus, and they are not in right standing with God as a result.
Yet we as a people have forgotten our history. 2000 years ago Christians were persecuted by the major power of the day to the point of being murdered. They were fierce in their resistance of the power behind the World, and didn’t worry about offending the religious sensibilities of those with worldly power to kill, imprison or torture them.
In our modern Western societies, this power has been abandoned, and the pared claws Dorothy Sayers wrote of a century ago are more apparent than ever.
It’s time for the Church to rise up and sharpen those claws. We need to recapture the fire and the passion that drove men like the Wesleys, William Booth and St Paul to accept persecution and ridicule, even to the point of Death.