A friend of mine sent me a news article about a satirical “obituary” that ran in the “London Times” about the death of common sense. I identified strongly with the writer’s examples of common sense being discarded when schools are required to get parental consent to administer an aspirin but cannot inform parents when a student wants to have an abortion. Another example of the decline of common sense was pointing out that these days you can’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.
I started thinking about the death of common sense in the church and came up with my own examples of the demise of rudimentary rationality. Christian common sense died when:
- Pastors became promoters of political liberalism, wrapped in faux compassion.
- Preachers became more concerned with audiences smiling at clever jokes rather than making them tremble in fear of hell.
- Prosperity became a sign of divine approval instead of a blessing for obedience.
- Angels started appearing to people for capricious communication instead of being sent from the Lord to guard and judge.
- Strange dreams were claimed to be prophetically inspired musings to be deciphered instead of the result of late night gastronomical over-indulgence.
- Deliverance was ostracized as unnecessary and the idea that Christians could have demons was deemed unbiblical.
Christian common sense is dying and being replaced by two illogical extremes. On one hand the extreme of hyper-Calvinist negates all human choice concerning salvation and while at the same time evangelical witch-hunting delegitimizes any occurrences of miracles and the supernatural. At the other end of the spectrum are ideas that suggest every political turn of events is apocalyptic and every word of prophecy heralds some newly discovered truth.
What’s needed is a return to Christian common sense, the sense to preach and practice the simple gospel of telling the good news and setting the captives free.
An Encouraging word: WITNESS EVERYWHERE
I was simply picking up my dry cleaning a couple of days ago, but I couldn’t keep silent. The clerk had a pentacle, a satanic symbol around her neck. “What’s that?” I asked. “It represents earth, wind, fire, water,” she said. “Actually no,” I countered, “it represents witchcraft. Are you a witch?” She was startled by my bluntness. Flustered for a moment she said, “Yes, I’m a pagan.” “Well I’m a Christian, and I need to warn you that what you’re involved with is dangerous,” I said seriously. Most Christians would have said nothing so as not to offend. But sometimes we need to risk being offensive to warn people who might not otherwise be warned. We wise, be prudent, don’t be obnoxious, but don’t be afraid to witness for Jesus everywhere.