From The Archives: In The Company of Fools

Christ carrying cross up Calvary on Good Friday over dark and stormy skyAtheism is popular right now.  Being offended at Christianity, and in particular ‘born again’ Christians, is becoming topical among many authors, intellectuals, journalists and social commentators.  Around us a chorus of disbelieving mockery grows increasingly influential as the offended voices of atheists grow louder and angrier by the day.  The Western world is seemingly separating into two camps, the intellectually wise, born to rule the world of course,  and the Christ-followers, at best deluded fools, at worst religious fanatics. The offence of the Cross has never been more obvious.

Truth be told there have been some very admirable fools in this company.  Consider Abram for instance. He left his home, his country and his religion to travel somewhere he didn’t know to find something he couldn’t see, muttering about looking for a city that didn’t exist.   Or take Simon bar Jonah, better known as Peter the Apostle.  He abandoned a thriving fishing business, a home with lakeside views to team up with a carpenter (rumoured to be illegitimate), who turned up on the beach one day, said “Follow me” and offered him nothing but trouble.   And let’s not forget Saul of Tarsus, up and coming brilliant theological scholar and probable candidate for the Jewish Sanhedrin.  After seeing a bright light (some say it was the mid-day sun),  and hearing a strange voice he discarded his very promising future to become a travelling preacher, enduring shipwrecks, whippings, imprisonment and finally beheading in the  name of a man who’d been crucified for blasphemy.

This list of fools continues throughout history to the present day.  I humbly but proudly admit my name has been added.  Yes, as far as the wise of this world are concerned, I am a fool.  I intend to remain so.  There are countless others who will stand beside me in my foolishness.

How did we become part of this prestigious company of fools?  We didn’t arrive at doctrinal consensus (some of us can’t even read);  we didn’t hold a worldwide conference and draft a manifesto (some of us couldn’t find our way out of a paper bag);  we didn’t elect a charismatic leader to tell us what to believe or who to trust (some of us have never even voted).  We simply placed our hope in a crucified Man. Simple really. There is still room in this company of fools. If you haven’t already done so, you are warmly invited to join us.  The odds may be against us but the Man has a plan that beats anything the atheists are offering.   Songwriter Graham Kendrick expresses it well:

I have placed all my hope in a Crucified Man

In the wounds in His side, His feet and His hands

I have traded my pride for a share in His shame

And the glory that one day will burst from His pain

 

I’ve abandoned my trust in the wise and the proud

For this fragile, mysterious weakness of God

And I dare to believe in His scandalous claim

That His Blood cleanses sin for whoever will call on His Name

Live or die, here I stand

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

 

I believe as they beat on His beautiful face

He turned a torturer’s chair to an altar of grace

Where the worst we can do met the best that God does

Where unspeakable hate met the gaze of unstoppable Love

At the crux of it all there He hangs

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

 

When the purest and best took the force of our curse

Death’s victory armada juddered into reverse

And either we bow or we stumble and fall

For the wisdom of suffering God has made fools of us all!

I gladly admit that I am

But I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man I have buried my life in the cold earth with Him

Like a seed in the winter I wait for the Spring

From that garden of tombs Eden rises again

And Paradise blooms from His Body and never will end

He’ll finish all He began….

Creation hopes in a Crucified Man

 

When I stand at the judgment I have no other plan

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

Like the thief nailed beside Him I have no other plan…

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

Words and music  © 2006 Make Way Music
www.grahamkendrick.co.uk

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012 and beyond   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.



Categories: The Bride of Christ, The Cross, Words of Grace and Truth

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. Atheism is 5% of the population in N. America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

    It’s difficult to believe christians are oppressed by non-believers.

    Like

    • Welcome, Ain’t No Shrinking Violet. Difficult for who….the Christians or the non believers?
      CM

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      • Who do you would think would face more oppression? The 5% of the population that are atheists, or the 83% of the population that are christians?

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356

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      • Hi there again. I don’t live in North America so I don’t consider myself qualified to speak on behalf of Americans whether they be Christians or non Christians. My post is not about who is more oppressed, it is a call to Christians to face opposition of any kind with wisdom and love, as Christ did.
        CM

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      • In that case, let me assure you christians in america don’t face much opposition at all. Though I like your idea of facing what little opposition there is with love instead of condemnation. 🙂

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      • Thanks, but it wasn’t my idea. It was Christ’s idea:
        “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
        But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”
        Unfortunately we Christians aren’t always good at following through on Christ’s ideas.
        That doesn’t mean He doesn’t have good ideas 🙂

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  2. Beautiful, Cheryl! Count me in! You’ve given me a fresh sense of courage and joy in identifying with this innumerable throng of fools headed for our Father’s glory.

    Graham’s song is so powerful too. I’ve never heard it before so I looked it up online and found this beautiful video I thought was worth sharing: https://vimeo.com/4108564

    Thanks for reposting this one from the archives. I missed it first time around.

    All blessings, David

    Like

    • Thanks for the Vimeo link David. I had never seen it before, though I have the song on CD. Yes, it is powerful and so relevant to what’s happening in these present days. We all have to choose where we are going to place our hope. I’ve posted the video so people can enjoy it and hopefully be stirred to some deeper understanding of the days we are living in. Bless you heaps!
      CM

      Like

  3. This is a great reminder to those who would identify themselves as Christians. Love the poem.
    Seems so many are caught up in trying to save face, hoping for the next archeological dig to find some evidence of the Biblical days, just to shove it in the face of the world and say, “Nyah-Nyah!”
    My goodness! Let’s be the foolish things of the world God uses to confound the wise! He’s wanting to reach them with love, not in-your-face proof. And the only thing foolish about love is that they simply don’t recognize it. And they won’t unless we persevere through our own foolish pride, that it may develop into the foolish Power of the cross.

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  4. Thank you for reminding me who I am … a fool for Christ Jesus

    I may be unsure of whats happening in today’s world when it comes to the “religion” but as far as my belief in and Love for Christ goes, it is unchanging.

    Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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