Are You Called To Be Controversial?

Did you hear the one about the actors who ignited an international incident with their movie trailer?

No kidding – the teaser for the new Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy “The Interview” sparked a firestorm of controversy after it premiered last week. The movie is about a pair of talk show hosts hired by the CIA to go undercover and kill North Korean leader kill Kim Jong-un.

Needless to see, the Korean leader didn’t see the movie as a laughing matter, labeling it an “act of terror and an act of war”.

It’s hard to say how serious Kim Jong-un’s threats are. But there’s no question “The Interview” trailer got people talking.

I wonder why Rogen and Franco decided to make such a controversial movie. Certainly a comedy doesn’t need to invoke terroristic actions to be funny. Why bother?1404013249500.cached

Maybe I just think too safely about things in life. I don’t seek out controversy on a daily basis. I try not to stir up arguments on my Facebook page just for the fun of it.

As far as my faith goes, I tend to keep it in mint condition as well. I usually only take it out of the box when I know it won’t get damaged. I don’t typically show my faith off to people if there’s a chance I could get hurt or I might scare someone off by talking about it.

Now, I don’t know if we need our comedies to be so controversial they ignite a potential war. (Though you could debate that’s exactly what a comedy should be doing.)

But I do think as Christians we are called to be controversial.

Sometimes we don’t consider just how controversial Jesus was. It’s not always at the forefront of our minds when we preach the gospel.

Remember: after Jesus would teach and perform miracles He would often be forced to retreat because of the people ready to murder Him. Plans were set in motion to kill Jesus long before the crucifixion happened.

Through His acts of love Jesus made many enemies. Maybe our faith is supposed to stir up trouble behind us too.

Maybe we should be so extravagant with our love and forgiveness that it makes people nervous. Maybe we ought to be coming up with acts of kindness that make headlines.

I don’t think our controversial calling entails annoying people on Facebook, or protesting outside of abortion clinics, or creating further barriers between the church and the mainstream culture.

I think it’s just the opposite. I think our faith should be so fearless it goes out to where people are and blows their mind with its reckless grace and generosity.

I think we should have the type of faith that doesn’t protest gay pride parades, but stands amongst the crowds meeting unbelievers where they are.

I don’t think we are called to play it safe. In fact, we are kidding ourselves if we think there’s anything safe in having faith in an unseen God in the first place.

So why not go all out with our lives, truly trusting in God as we take our faith out of the bubble wrap?

Controversy is not necessarily a bad word. We just shouldn’t waste time stirring up controversy over the things that don’t matter. Instead of trying to stir up trouble over a movie storyline, let’s make people talk with the way the storylines of our lives diverge from the average path.

That’s the kind of controversy I can get behind.

Do you think Christians ought to be more controversial? Are you ever scared of stirring things up?



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