Inside or Outside the Box?

August 7th, 2014

Several blogs ago, I spoke about Aggressive Authenticity—or the passion to pursue the lost without counting the cost. My observations of American Christianity cause me to state that this is highly uncommon. To display an Aggressive Authenticity in our faith is truly Outside the Box.

Most Christians become more cautious as they navigate through life, being ever so careful not to expose themselves to the dangers of taking too many risks. Most of us fall into the cultural trappings of wanting a bigger home, a nicer car, a more expensive vacation and an escalating standard of living. Without ever realizing it, our desires to have more and more put us into a box where most become comfortable and trapped at the same time. We shed a tear at a missionary’s slides but can do little more than throw a few dollars in an offering plate because we are trapped in our box of comfort and convenience. Hearing the clarion call of foreign missions is nearly impossible because our box has trapped us in a lifestyle that would be impossible to recreate in a third world country.

We do not just put Ourselves in a Box. We are not satisfied until we put God in a Box, too. Some have regulated God to His appropriate portion of their life—Sunday morning. They want Him to help when they are in those “between a rock and a hard place” times in their lives, but that is about it. The lives of many contemporary, evangelical Americans are sectioned off into separate areas. They have a business section, a pleasure section, a domestic section, a religious section, and whatever other section is appropriate.  They go on vacation or a business trip and never even think of attending church because their sections do not overlap. Their God is In a Box.

Because so many Christians are careful to keep control over their lives, I fear we are watering down our Christians lives to the point that there is actually very little Jesus Christ in it. Let us be very honest—do your life and my life reflect a commitment to a living Biblical Christ, or to a watered down Christ that is culturally In a Box? We have learned all too well how to go through the motions, show up for the expected church services and do the minimum to maintain religious respectability. In the lives of many contemporary believers, there is a lack of evidence of a life transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the book A Quest for Godliness the author states about the early Puritans, “There was for them no distinction between the sacred and the secular; and all creation, so far as they were concerned, was sacred, and all activities, of whatever kind, must be sanctified, that is, done to the glory of God.”

In my office I have a three volume classic Puritan work written by William Gurnall titled, The Christian in Complete Armour. In these more than one thousand pages of peerless and priceless wisdom the author writes, “There are three ways for men to miss God’s direction, each one a precarious bypass to the power of holiness. Some walk by no rule; others by a false rule, and still others by the true rule, but only partially. The first is the rebellious harlot; the second is the superstitious zealot; and the third is the hypocrite. Stay free of all three unless you intend to lay a knife to the throat of holiness. Liberal men try to stretch their freedom by saying the law is not a rule for Christians. But Christ baptized the law and gospelized it, both by preaching it as a rule of holiness in His sermons and by walking out His life according to that rule. Any principle which takes away the standard for a righteous life may be indicted as a murderer of holiness.”

Are we living out Christ on a daily basis before God and men? I hope our answer is a bold YES. Are we guilty of murdering holiness? I trust we can answer a bold NO. If the answer to either question is wrong, then we are not displaying Aggressive Authenticity. If this is our testimony, then we are living Inside the Box and so too is our God. How boldly are you serving Christ? Inside or Outside the Box—what is your answer?