Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Plea to Christian Young People to Be Fools

(Here is an article from the 10/16/07 issue of the Worldview Weekend newsletter that I thought I would share with my faithful blog readers.)

Note: This is a short but poignant appeal from Bryan Elliff. He is 18 and in his senior year of homeschooling. Bryan teaches young people weekly in KC, and has spoken in a variety of other venues in the US and overseas. Please listen carefully to what Bryan is saying. If possible, copy this article and share it with young people. We are seeing a dramatic impact among youth who understand the importance of this biblical viewpoint. You may read other articles by Bryan on his blog designed specifically for the youth he is teaching each week at www.bryanelliff.blogspot.com. Jim Elliff

A Plea to Christian Young People to Be Fools by Bryan Elliff

The people of God are called to be fools for the sake of Christ. Many Christian young people are not.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he was fighting this very battle. He brought into sharp contrast the wisdom of the world and the foolishness of God. To the world in their wisdom, he said in chapter 1, the cross of Christ is utter stupidity. It is bloody, dirty, poor, and intellectually bankrupt—the historical execution of a Jewish, religious criminal. “But,” he said, “to those who are the called . . . [it is] Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1:24).” The cross does not cease to be dirty, and bloody, and poor, but to the called, this “foolishness” is seen as the glorious power and wisdom of the omnipotent and omniscient God.

The world hates the gospel. How else can you explain the martyrdom of the many early Christians in the Roman Coliseum, or the beheading of John and Betty Stam, missionaries to China, in 1934, or the brutal torture and death of three missionaries in Asia this past year? To the world in their wisdom, the cross of Jesus Christ is still dirty, bloody, poor, and stupid. And, possibly what is the most hateful of all, it demands of them absolute submission. That is the gospel that you are called to preach and live.

When I travel with my father, I have the opportunity to meet many people, in churches and conferences, who are near my age (18). I am very weary of seeing so many young people who are completely enamored with living and preaching a gospel that is cool. The true gospel is not cool. It is foolishness. Jesus Christ is not cool. To the world, He is a fool. If He had been wise in the world’s opinion, they would not have murdered Him. And if Jesus Christ came back today to live among the Western church, I think it possible that many youth groups, discovering that He is not the Jesus Christ they had created, would crucify Him again.

Much of the problem is that many young people are holding a rope that is not held by God on the other end. They are resting in a salvation that is based, not by God’s grace and Christ’s work, but on family tradition or one-time experiences. My object, however, is not to deal with that problem. My object is to plead with genuine Christian teenagers and college students to be fools for the sake of Christ.

Ultimately, I am saying this: if you are a true follower of Christ, you are not called to be cool. You are called to preach and live out a gospel that is hated by many of your friends—maybe even some in your church. Christians are not supposed to be loved by the world. Christians are supposed to be like those in Hebrews 11 who were “stoned . . . sawn in two . . . tempted . . . put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground (11:37-38).” They were men of whom the world was not worthy.

I yearn for an army of young people who are world-hated, Christ-exalting fools—young men and women of whom the world is not worthy.

Bryan Elliff © 2007 Permission granted for electronic copying in complete form. All other uses require written permission. www.CCWonline.org

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Blogger Cindy said...

This is an excellent article. I hope you do not mind but I am going to print it out and give this to my Pastor and the Youth Minister as well.

Love in Christ

8:49 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sis. Cindy,

The author gives permission to print and distribute freely as noted in the introduction section of the article.

Thanks for taking the time to share with others.

I thought it was a good challenge for our youth also!!! Of course, even as adults, it seems we are always worried what our peers say about our actions... we just need to follow God and His Word!!!

12:29 AM  

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