So where would we find Jesus, at a Casting Crowns concert, or the Grateful Dead?
Again, I am not saying there is anything wrong with Casting Crowns. In fact, I love their music. But the question is not if the music is good or bad, it is where would Jesus be? I think an honest look at his ministry says he's at the Grateful Dead concert, hanging with the sinners. No, he's not taking a toke from blunt that is being passed around, he is just being himself, talking about life and his Father, intriguing some who are listening while others continue about whatever they were doing.
I think of Zacchaeus, a tax-collector who was curious about Jesus. He wanted to see Jesus without being seen, but Jesus called him out, and then had dinner with him. Now Zach was no small sinner. He was a hated sell-out, helping the Romans finance their control over his people. And yet in the midst of the dinner, Jesus proclaims that salvation has come to this home.
Jesus did not hate the secular, he embraced it. He went out into it and attracted people to himself by the strength of his living the truth. He embraced it without letting it attract himself to it. That is tough for us humans. Anytime we surrender to the satisfaction of this world over our satisfaction in knowing God, we have fallen short. Some would say, "Then why take the chance? Why not just avoid the world?" My answer is, "Because then we are already defeated."
I read today in Matt Chandler's book, The Explicit Gospel, how we have changed the Great Commission. Instead of going out into the world, we want to invite the world to come to us. While that is a sweet idea, it is not what Jesus commanded.
Jesus did not hate the secular, he embraced it. What about us?