Years ago I read a magazine interview with Brad Pitt. Pitt was raised up in a Baptist household. In the article, which I still have buried somewhere, Pitt said he left behind the faith of his childhood because he thought it was a big cop-out when people use faith as an excuse for not being involved in making the world a better place in the here and now.
When all they care about is the heaven to come.
Pitt’s remarks gave me pause.
There’s nothing that gets Believers more stirred to debate than the “what ifs” of Heaven and Hell.
Just consider Rob Bell’s latest book – Love Wins.
Or Francis Chan’s latest release – Erasing Hell.
I’ve not read either of these books, and am not sure I will, so I will leave the debating about these issues to scholars who care.
And it’s not that I don’t.
I do care very much about the world to come.
It’s just right now I’m a bit more caught up, as I suspect many of you are, with this one.
For whatever reason, God saw fit to put us in this world to live out our faith.
To be the hands and feet of Christ to others, in the here and right now. Many of you are doing a terrific job of doing just that. Not in showy ways but in a kind and quiet fashion.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the admonition in I Thessalonians 4: 11 to aim, make it an ambition, to aspire to live out a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work hard with your own hands.
It’s such a contrary notion to the current culture of Live Life Out Loud.
Do you ever feel like Christianity is an ill-fitting suit?
Or at least the sort that we seem to practice here?
Maybe it’s just me.
I really understand what Brad Pitt meant when he said he thinks people use their faith as an escape for not living this present life better.
Maybe my thinking is just warped but does it seem to you that all too often Christianity is passed off as a consolation prize?
Sorry that your daughter was murdered but there’s comfort in knowing that she’s in the arms of Jesus now.
Sorry that you lost your job, Mister, but we know all things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purposes. Maybe that job wasn’t your calling.
When viewed this way, Christianity seems pretty sorry.
Heaven doesn’t interest me near as much as the hell I see so many people facing in the here and now.
I get the struggle Brad Pitt faces. The only God I’m interested in serving is the one who puts on his leather boots each day, ready and willing to trod into the ditches first.
I don’t want a God who shrugs his shoulders when children are murdered.
Gimme a God with a posse willing to fight to make things right.
Or at least die trying.