The Unreasonableness of Being Reasonable (part one)
Leadership Courage Series # 25
For a number of months we’ve been looking at Christian leadership from what I hope are refreshing and resourceful perspectives. The genesis of this entire series is A Failure of Nerve by the late Edwin Friedman. I am again indebted to him for sparking today’s thoughts with his charge to “disengage from an unreasonable faith in reasonableness.”
Pastor, after all the years of disappointments, setbacks, and betrayals in your experience as both minister and disciple, have you become reasoned, balanced, measured, composed in the application of your faith?
Has your Christianity become, somehow, affordable?
I wonder how this impacts those you struggle to inspire? We are, after all, talking about leading with courage…
If the Christian faith is but one among many, then a sensibly reasonable approach to applying its teachings is appropriate.
If church involvement is but one of several “membership commitments” then it is wise to be reasoned in your investment therein.
The thing is, Christianity cannot be any of these, for any of us.
If it is but one among many anythings — then it is a lie.
The reasonable thing to do with a thing like that, is to have nothing to do with it.
The claims of Christ are so radical, singular, and exclusive they can only stand alone. Without rival in any person’s life.
So, Christian, the one question: Is it true?
If Jesus Christ is the completely unique son of God… the way, the truth, and the life… the only route to the Father… the one in whom the fullness of God dwells… then to be reasonable in your commitment to your faith is the most unreasonable thing you could ever do.
To be reasonable in your commitment to Christ is the most unreasonable thing you could ever do.
And to be unreasonable in your commitment to Jesus and His Church is the most reasonable thing you could ever do.
No reasonable person can declare “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” [Phil 1:21] Right?
Maybe you rationalize: “Well Kirk, that was Paul. The Apostle Paul. Heck, he wrote half the New Testament. Paul’s was a highly unusual commitment to Christ and Christianity.”
Yet, Paul was either crazy or he fully expected the Christians in Philippi to do just the same with their lives.
Paul, like Jesus, was no reasonable person.
Gripped at his core, from his core, to his core with the unreasonableness of faith, everything Paul wrote and modeled indicated a radical, all-in embrace of faith.