Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who’s the True Christian Hero?

Today’s message is inspired of, and a wordplay on, an unlikely source:
“We don’t need another hero,
[we just need to know the way home.”]
— Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
One of the constant temptations on the Christian journey, especially in this Media-age, where self-promotion’s narcissism is never too far away (for those brazen enough by personality to go there), is to big-note the self or take sides—becoming fans of a particular mega-pastor, politician, civil rights advocate, etc. Like, who’s following who and who’s missing the point of life?
But we have Christ. We have one Hero. Do we need another, or a plethora of competing heroes battling for the mantle; adding to the tsunami of envy.
None can compare to the sinless Jesus.
The moment we start to entertain thoughts of heroism, we tempt fate for allocation of the Messiah Complex. We don’t need another hero.
Why Take Credit?
It may always be a great difficulty actually glorifying God in our beings, with authenticity, for times when we’ve done God’s will.
We either miss the opportunity or we take the credit somehow. We become the hero. Or, just as bad, we put somebody else (equally imperfect) up on a pedestal they don’t belong on.
A few years ago I had the dubious pleasure of hosting a night where one mature Christian man kept on talking about his exploits in Christ, but he was also saying how much more important were actions than words. But what was he doing? He was selling us a Christ not the least free of his good self. I found it annoying and hypocritical, yet he seemed somewhat blind to the fact that others were not in his class in serving the Lord. I wonder what God truly thinks of this sort of guy. And why would he need to spruik so much—insecurities, pride, anxiety? Maybe all three, and then some.
Only ONE Hero Need Apply
There is, and can only be, one hero.
The Father decreed it would be the Son. And because of the Son we live, and have the Father-begotten Holy Spirit to journey with us; inside us.
The greatest of us is least of all and the least among us has rights to true greatness. In this upside-down view of heroism, nobody wants to be the hero; nobody but Jesus; nobody wants to suffer like the Hero must suffer. There are no streaming accolades for this type of hero.
Jesus never spruiked.
Jesus never lied.
Jesus was never hypocritical.
And Jesus never condemned the humble—only the proud.
We don’t need another hero; we already have Jesus. When we hear Christians speaking about their exploits ‘in Christ’ let’s be reluctant in our praise of them. Glory is due the True Hero—there’s only One.
Jesus is the Way Home.
Let’s trust in him alone.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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