Brinksmanship

How close to the edge of the cliff can I get before I fall off? That seems to be a popular attitude today. As one who has spent many years in youth ministry, I’ve heard many youth ask something like about their dating relationships, “How far can I go?” Or, “How close can I get to doing the wrong thing without quite doing it?”

Don Imus discovered this week that some of the guard rails on the cliff weren’t as secure has he had been led to believe. Previously his reputation for raunchiness had only increased his fame and wealth. Not only did he earn a job on the radio, but some cable station even decided to televise his radio show. (You know there’s a serious lack of imagination when they start televising radio shows.) The rich and famous flocked to him. I never listened to the fellow, but many seem to think that what he said this time wasn’t radically different from things he’d said before.

For a while some folks thought the Duke lacrosse guys had gone too far and fallen off the cliff. But then it turns out those Methodist boys hadn’t raped the stripper. They’d only thrown a party and wanted some harmess entertainment. What? Not everyone that attends a Methodist school is Methodist? Or even a Christian? Oh. Well, no wonder they pushed so close to the edge.

Our culture values being edgy. I even hear of church leaders that like being known as edgy. They want to get as close to the edge as they can without falling off – without running off the people they’re trying to win.

What would happen if we lost our fascination with the edge? What if, instead, we became fascinated with Jesus? Instead of asking, “How close to the cliff can I get without falling off?” we asked, “How can I get closer to Jesus?” or “What can I do that will bring me closer to Jesus?”

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