Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Right to Appear Ridiculous

On U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon, in the song "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" we hear Bono sing the lyric: "The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear."

I find it farily significant that the line follows the lyric: "Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear," a line that is pulled from the New Testament Scriptures, where the Apostle John, in his First Letter to the Church, writes: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (1 John 4:18).

John is writing to weak-kneed believers who need to, as Bono sings in Stand Up Comedy, "get out from under their beds." Bono, like John, is saying, "Come on, ye people, stand up for your Love." Stop being afraid of what others think, stop being enslaved to the approval of others, and be willing to appear ridiculous.

The fact is, Christ-followers will always appear ridiculous to those who exercise their freedom to not believe. It's ALWAYS been this way. I'm reminded of a story of King David when the Ark of the Covenant was being brought to Jerusalem. We read in 2 Samuel 6 that as the Ark came into the city, King David was leaping and dancing before the LORD. We also read that his wife, Michal, saw David doing this and she despised him for it. When David returned home, Michal disgustingly told David that he made a fool of himself...he appeared ridiculous!

Christ-followers will always appear ridiculous in the eyes of those who exercise their freedom to not believe. It is foolish in their eyes to put our hope in the words and promises of a book that is thousands of years old...it is foolish in their eyes to believe that One Man born supposedly 2000 years ago was the Very Creator of the Universe come to live in the flesh as a human being...it is foolish in their eyes to believe that all humanity will one day give an account to the One True God based solely on what they did with the claims of Christ...and on and on.

As a fellow Christ-follower, I think I know what Bono means when he sings, "Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear? The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear."

Of course, the right to appear ridiculous applies, at times, equally before the Church as well as before the unbelieving world...for many in the Church have created their own particular brand of following Christ, which, if one ignores, one is considered ridiculous by them as well. So...what to do?

Allow perfect love, God's perfect, never-ending, never diminishing, never-changing unconditional love to you in Christ to drive out all fear...and be willing to be considered ridiculous...as a matter of fact, hold that right dearly! It was a right that the Apostle Paul held dearly...In 1 Corinthias 4:10, Paul writes to people who thought him to be ridiculous, "We are fools for Christ's sake."

Some years ago I was on the staff of a well-known campus ministry. The leader of the organization was though to be foolish by many people for his commitment and vision. One day he was even told by another: "You are a fool!" Without missing a beat this Christian leader said, "Ok, I'm a fool...but if I'm going to be a fool, I'd rather be Christ's fool...who's fool are you?"


"...it's not a hill, it's a mountain as you start out the climb...but listen for me, I'll be shouting...we're GONNA make it all the way to the Light."

Oh, but a change of heart comes slow.

2 comments:

Thankful Paul said...

Hello! :)

Larry Fischer said...

Yeah I struggle with this. I am too concerned with what people think of me. 2 Cor 5:17.