Nobody wants to be that guy preaching the gospel on the street corner. Nobody wants to be the guy knocking on his neighbors’ doors inviting them to church or sharing Christ with them. Nobody wants to be the girl who tells her roommate it’s a sin for her boyfriend to have his hands down her pants. And no, it doesn’t matter that you’re planning to get married. Nobody wants to be that family that walks out of the theater because they refuse to hang out in the company of losers on screen. Nobody wants to be that student who raises his hand and points out that if there is no god then gang rape is a perfectly reasonable option to consider for sexual fulfillment.
Nobody wants to point out that your favorite television show is full of vile language and more tits than even any self respecting farmer ought to see in a life time. Nobody wants to be the lady who gently suggests that the reason you got that piercing was to offend the older women at church and maybe score with the cute boy in the choir. Nobody really wants to repeat what Paul says about husbands and wives, cheerfully without apology, in a clear voice into the microphone. Don’t worry: I won’t repeat it here in case there are some tender consciences reading.
Nobody wants to be that guy because it’s awkward, embarrassing, complicated. It’s certainly not cool. It’s not trendy. It’s almost sure to be misunderstood as self-righteous do-gooding. It’s almost sure to be construed as arrogant legalism. It’s almost sure to be seen as prudish fundamentalism. It’s judgmental, inconsiderate, unkind, offensive, anti-intellectual. It might make following Jesus seem foolish. It might make the gospel seem embarrassing. It might be a bad testimony.
But this means that the reason nobody wants to be that guy is because we’re a bunch of cowards. And when somebody actually speaks up, ears redden, throats clear, and the exceptions, clarifications, and apologies flood the airwaves. Which is to say that we are not actually toe dabbling in the world while firmly rooted in Christ. We’re actually in up to our necks, and we think the fact that our pinky toe is still barely touching the bottom means that we’ve got everything under control. It’s called a Christian worldview. It’s called deep theology. It’s called gospel centered cultural engagement. It’s called evangelistic contextualization.
I don’t know. I think it’s called selling out.
If you’re not regularly finding yourself or putting yourself in situations where you are tempted to be ashamed of Jesus, then you’re just not doing it right. Which is to say that we should probably be spending a lot more time being that guy than we do.