Jesus is for Losers (Count me in)

Jesus is for Losers (Count me in) April 30, 2018

The modern opposition narrative against Bible believers and followers of Jesus is quite clear. We’ve all heard the mocking that we follow a belief system that denies reality. They laugh, calling our beliefs “from the Bronze Age” equating them to the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.  They don’t get it.

The critics spend their time online, in academia, and in the media looking for opportunities to marginalize Christians.  If one of us falls – then they pounce. The latest is Bill Hybels, the father of the modern “seeker” movement that transformed thousands of churches reaching millions. The critics stand, hands on hips, tongues wagging. “Hypocrite” they cry.

If he’s a hypocrite, then I’m really in trouble.

Those who know me realize that I’m not always solid in my faith. I doubt. I fall. I curse the darkness when I don’t have answers. I curse the light when I have answers, but I don’t like them.

I’ve been accused of not following what I preach – and some of those accusations are quite true.

It’s not all that shocking. We fall

But it gives me comfort that I’m not alone. Like a camp for kids who can’t stay out of trouble, I keep having to report for duty. And there are some familiar names and faces. I’m scrubbing dishes right next to the same guys as last time.

So, I don’t point the long bony finger of condemnation. I can’t in good conscience. So, when Twitter and Facebook and the media light up over the failings of a Christian figure, I scoot over on the bench and welcome that person to sit next to me.

A few names do not indict the billions who believe and strive to stay true. I do not have to defend every person who hasn’t lived up to the standard.

But who are we trying to fool?

The failings of human beings who belong to a movement that fully acknowledges that human beings fall should not be shocking.  

Hey, Loser. Yeah, You!

I was once at a church picnic. I was laughing with friends and the kids were playing with a soccer ball. The smoke from the burgers stretched across the park and the laughter filled the air.

We had a church sign on one of the tables.

A man walked by, hands buried deep in his pockets, headphones around his neck.

I smiled at him and invited him for a burger.

“No,” he smirked. “Jesus is for losers.”

For me, it was a great day with other losers. What did he go home to? A six pack of Dr. Pepper? A toke? An afternoon of virtual gaming?  Trolling on Twitter, looking for Christians to poke?

I’m okay with being the loser in this exchange. And I know he came for other losers. He came for the sick, the poor, the marginalized, the imperfect. He came for the tax collector, the soldier, the publican, the Pharisee, the prostitute, and the fisherman.

He didn’t come for those who have it all together. And if you think you have all the answers wrapped up in the pages of a science book, then this probably isn’t for you – yet. It’s what lies beyond the telescope, the inky blackness that calls you, that one day will ask for an explanation. But for now, you aren’t there. You don’t need him.

He wants losers.

Jesus is for Losers
Photo by Bill Vriesma, with permission, CCLI Via Flikr

If you want to gain, you must be willing to lose

I’m not sure we need to spend a lot of energy defending ourselves. I get it. I’m in public relations and I understand the need to defend, even repel false or exaggerated changes. We are doing so out of protectionism. We hold up our hands to stop the blows.

Weird though, when filtered through the Red Letters of the Bible, there’s not much said about defending ourselves. In fact, he told Peter to lay down his sword. He knew that by going to the cross, the gain would be far more than some temporary battle.

Sure, Jesus talked about saving us, but think about all the times he told us to lose ourselves. “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it,” he told the disciples.

Although there were some life and death issues that went into this admonition, the implications go much further.

“If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

In other words, we must be willing to let all go to live. It’s always been that way. And deep down we know it’s true.

So, wear the “loser” label with pride, stand on the end of the diving board, and leap. You’ll land right where you need to be.

30 years ago, Steve Taylor sang, “Jesus is for Losers.”

“Just as I am
I am needy and dry
Jesus is for losers
The self-made need not apply”

He’s right. The holy grail of success is found only in humbleness.

Just as I am
In a desert crawl
Lord, I’m so thirsty
Take me to the waterfall

Just as you are

Just a wretch like me
Jesus is for losers
Grace from the blood of a tree

Just as we are

At a total loss
Jesus is for losers
Broken at the foot of the cross

Just as I am

Pass the compass, please
Jesus is for losers
I’m off about a hundred degrees

Just as I am

In a desert crawl
Lord, I’m so thirsty
Take me to the waterfall

 

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