The Essential Guide of Movie Quotes for Your Use During Those Awkward Conversations at Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is coming up. For most of us that means a lot of good food with family and friends. For the Detroit Lions it means the beating of their lives on national television. But for a select few folks, it means enduring several agonizing hours of awkward conversations with even more awkward family members.

Fret not!

Whenever Aunt Agnes decides to tell you that you should have married “that nice fella you dated in the seventh grade instead of that slob sitting next to you” or how you look like you’ve put on a few pounds, you no longer have to wish for that perfect comeback. Just let the movies be your guide. That way, if you get into trouble, you can just blame it on Hollywood. Win, win!

To help you get started, here are a few examples of potential awkward quotes from those even more awkward family members along with the solid selection of theatrical responses at your disposal.

Agnes, no one’s quite sure how she’s related to the rest of the family but they all just do what she says anyway: “I’ve gone to the trouble of giving everyone assigned seats. You can sit over at the card table in the corner.”

Cousin Billy and his six pet cats: “I think we’ll stay for a few more days. After all, the leftovers are the best part.”

Tonya, your super picky niece: “The chili tastes a little gamey. What’s in it?”

A few of the ladies: “We’re going to need someone to go to the store while the rest of us finish watching this Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel.”

Your Great Grandma, the one who, 40 years ago, stopped caring about the words that come out of her mouth: “It looks like you’ve put on a good twenty pounds since last year. And you’ve started going bald. Oh, but you look so happy.”

Kennedy, your know it all nephew who just finished his first semester at some big time university out on the west coast: “Look, I don’t know what all of the fuss is about. I think the Affordable Care Act is great!”

You can thank me later.

Oh, and my sincerest apologies if you can’t think of any awkward friends or relatives and people keep quoting movie lines to you.

See you in December.

Haunted By His Presence

Nothing will warm your heart like opening your eyes in the middle of the night to find a smiling four-year-old standing next to your bed. Unless, of course, you live alone. In that case you should probably move or ask the doctor to lower your dosage.

Fortunately, a four-year-old lives in my house. So when I wake up at 3 a.m. with him standing next to my bed it’s no big deal.

His room is on the other side of our house. That means that when he wakes up in the middle of the night he has to walk all the way across a dark, quiet house just to speak one short sentence.

“Dad, I’m scared.”

Usually, after being woken up like this, I am too. So I sit on the side of the bed, let my heart rate settle down, put the gun back in the drawer and walk my four-year-old back to his room where I pray over him and tell him goodnight. On the way back I step on every Lego he somehow missed during his journey through darkness.

But here’s the weird thing.

At 5:00 in the afternoon, when the house is completely lit and everyone is awake and active, I’ll sometimes ask my four-year-old to do a job. Put a ball back into his closet. Put a towel back in a cabinet. Turn the bathroom light off.

He never wants to do it.

Not because he’s lazy or rebellious.

He’s scared.

This baffles me. How can the kid who has no problem walking in the middle of the night through a dark room littered with Lego land mines suddenly be too scared to go into his own room by himself in the full light of day?

And then I remember.

It’s what’s on the other end.

At 3 in the morning, my kid can walk through a dark, quiet house all alone because he knows that there is someone waiting for him on the other end of his journey. Someone who will listen. Someone who cares.

But in the afternoon, when he has to walk into his closet, he knows that there is no one there waiting for him. At least he hopes that there is no one there waiting for him. On the other end of this mission, it’s just him. Alone. Scared.

Presence makes all of the difference.

I can’t always be there for him. It would hurt him if I was. But I can do something better.

So I teach him about the One who waits for him on the other end of his journey.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 (ESV)

And I teach him the difference between his earthly father and his heavenly One. Like I said, I can’t be with him all the time. But his heavenly Father is.

And presence makes all of the difference.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

The N-Word

First impressions aren’t always right. But sometimes they are.

The white kid liked to talk a lot. He seemed like the type who let his mouth get him in trouble from time to time.

The black kid was quiet. He never said much but when he did it was light-hearted. He came across as easy-going.

They were talking about sports. That’s what they always talked about. I was just an observer. The old man with nothing to say, just analyzing how the times have changed in the twenty years since I was their age. And boy, the times have really changed.

The black kid shared his opinion on something sports related. I don’t even remember what he said.

But I remember what the white kid said in response.

He called his friend the N-word.

I immediately thought back to my high school days. I didn’t grow up in 1960s Selma, Alabama. I grew up in 1990s Clayton County, Georgia. My school was racially diverse. Racial tension wasn’t overbearing but it was there.

Just before I graduated, Spike Lee released Malcolm X. He had an excellent marketing plan. Everywhere I looked there was a black t-shirt or hat with a giant white X on it. In response, a few white people started wearing shirts featuring the confederate flag and the phrase, “You’ve got your X, I’ve got mine.” You can imagine what that did for race relations in the community.

The N-word was off limits. If a black person said it, a teacher came from nowhere to correct the student. If a white person said it, there was going to be even more trouble. As far as I can remember, there was no such thing as a white person using the word in good nature towards a black person. Some jokes seem funny from the perspective of the deliverer and downright threatening to the recipient. This word was the perfect example.

So I braced myself a few months ago when I heard the fast talking white kid use that word towards his black teammate. It was looking as if my first impression about his mouth getting him in trouble was about to be proven true.

But the black kid just stood there. Not like one would stand there while turning the other cheek. Not in shock, as in, “What did you just call me?” He just stood there. Like if I called you dude or man. It meant nothing to him.

What happened? Don’t get me wrong. I was glad that there was no fight. But was I really that old? Had that word suddenly become okay?

A few weeks later news broke of the bizarre relationship between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Incongnito, white, sent Martin, black, somewhere around 12.9 billion text messages. And he called Martin the N-word.

Surely this was it for Incognito. I remembered former Braves pitcher John Rocker and his comments that helped to bring his career to a quick end. Incognito’s offenses seemed much worse than Rocker’s. But apparently they weren’t. Either that or times have just changed.

We were later informed that there was a different code in locker rooms. That you could say and do things in there that you couldn’t get away with in regular society. That the N-word didn’t really mean anything. As if that weren’t enough, earlier this week, Charles Barkley defended the Clippers’ Matt Barnes use of the word on social media saying, “white America doesn’t get to dictate” how he talks to his friends.

Barkley confessed that he uses the N-word all the time and that his white friends use it around him. But he went on to say that white people need to be careful that they don’t use the word around the wrong person.

So even for those who tell us that the N-word is no big deal, it’s a big deal.

It turns out that James was really onto something.

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! James 3:5 (ESV)

Maybe times have changed. But that doesn’t change the past. A past where the N-word was used as the cruelest of insults. That may be a past that has been forgotten by today’s pro athletes and teenagers. But it is not forgotten by all.

My sons haven’t heard the N-word yet. One day they will. Everyday my wife asks them if they’ve heard any strange words. At some point, they’ll come to us with this one.

And we’ll tell them that the N-word is a curse word. That it’s a tiny word that can start a great fire.

As they grow, my boys will likely spend a fair amount of time in locker rooms. You know, those places where rules are suspended. My hope for them is that they learn that the impact left by a word, like a fire, doesn’t know geographical boundaries. I’m working to train them so that they will remember that conviction, character, love and respect don’t go on hiatus when you walk into a locker room.

I don’t care if Lil’ Wayne and Charles Barkley use the N-word. I’m glad that they have the privilege.

But the kids who are growing up today had better take notice. Their black friend may not mind being called the N-word by a white teammate. But their black friends’ father just might. Chances are, he’s had it thrown in his direction before and with all the wrong intentions. So when he hears it used on his son, he just might decide to do something about it. Who could blame him?

One little word.

No big deal to some.

But painfully offensive to others.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.

Little Boys And Their Big Trucks

It was probably the biggest truck I’ve seen in my life, if you don’t count the ones that come to town once a year to crush cars. It was a nice truck too. The paint looked like candy. The wheels looked like robots and the tires like giant muscles. This was no mere truck. It was a statement. It was obvious that the truck’s owner had invested a lot of time and money in this work of moving art.

When the truck drove past me it became clear what kind of statement the owner was trying to make. It was a statement about his manhood.

There was a piece of metal hanging down below the back bumper. I guess you could call it an idol. An strategically placed idol. The idol was shaped like male genitalia.

The crude idol spoke to all who noticed it.

There’s a real man driving this truck.

Our culture has perverted manhood. That’s what usually happens in societies that are spiraling downward like ours is. On television the picture of manhood is one of spineless men who couldn’t find their way to their favorite bar without someone else’s help. In the context I’m living in, it’s quite the opposite. Too often, manhood is defined by sexual conquests, large automobiles and male sex organs hanging from those automobiles.

In reality, true manhood is on display in the things they don’t show in truck commercials. If you pay attention, you can see it in the little things.

Like the guy who misses a game so he can take his little girl to her school’s father daughter dance because he knows that if she doesn’t see real manhood from him she’ll look for it in all the wrong places.

Or the man who drives a car older than he is and works a few extra shifts every now and then so that one day his family can stop giving money to creditors and start giving it to people in need.

Don’t forget the man who’s voice sounds something like a cross between Axl Rose and a sick dog. But he doesn’t care about that. When it’s time to sing songs in church, he doesn’t hold back. And for the people around him, the vision of a man singing about his Savior overshadows the sound coming from his mouth.

And then there’s the man who hasn’t had sex in five years. Not because he can’t or doesn’t want to. It’s because his wife is sick. Very sick. And he knows that caring for her and keeping his promise to her is more important than any temporary pleasure.

Real men are pastors. Not just the pastors that preach sermons to congregations every Sunday. These men are pastors in their home. They take the spiritual growth of their wife and children personally. So they make sure that the family sings songs and reads the Bible together on a random Tuesday night when it would be a lot easier to just sit down together and watch a show about a spineless man who can’t manage to find his way to his favorite bar without someone else’s help.

There are real men with no wife or kids too. They respect women and find ways to serve women without viewing them as sexual objects. They know that all women, even the ones on computer screens who always seem available and ready, are created in God’s image.

Real men have hands covered with scars or permanent grease stains from a lifetime of providing through hard work. But they also smell like potpourri from time to time because they serve their wives by doing the laundry for them.

Real men drive huge trucks with barbed wire and random car parts thrown in the back. But some of them also drive station wagons and mini-vans. Both know that manhood isn’t defined by automobiles.

And it certainly isn’t defined by large sexual idols hanging from those large automobiles.

They know that true manhood is on display in the little things.

A Conversation That Your Son Just Might Have With His Son In The Year 2025

The following is a conversation that your son just might have with his son in the year 2025.

“Dad, what was it like when you were growing up?”

“Those were the days, son. We had a lot of fun going to church, playing games, listening to music, learning and being together as a family.”

Going to church?”

“Yes. We got to go to a building and meet with other people a few times a week. It was great.”

“But what about the Council on Religious Freedom? Did they ever try to stop you or tell you what to say?”

“No. They didn’t come around until I was a little older.”

“What did people do for fun?”

“It depended on the person. Everyone was different and pretty much free to do what they wanted. I played sports and hunted.”

“Hunted? What’s that?”

“Well, we used guns to shoot animals so that we could eat them.”

“What!? Guns! How did you not get caught by the People’s Security Force?”

“Well, they didn’t come around until later either.”

“I can’t believe you were allowed to have guns. Is it true what they say? Are guns too complicated for regular citizens like us to handle?”

“No, son. That’s just foolish talk. Remember, don’t believe everything they tell you at the Mind Enhancement Center.”

“Yes sir. Did you have the Hunger Games when you were a kid.”

“Yeah but it was just a book and later a movie. We didn’t have to actually compete in them like you do.”

“Dad, it sounds like life was pretty nice back when you were a kid.”

“It was.”

“Well, what happened? How did it get like this? Did the Chairman just come in one day and change everything?”

“No. It happened over time in a thousand small ways. Nobody ever saw it coming.”

“How could they not see something like this coming?”

“Everyone was busy.”

“Busy doing what?”

“Reality TV. Celebrity gossip. The Voice.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.”

“Well I better get back to work, dad. Things have gotten really hard since the Chairman said that we had to start using our own straw to make the bricks.”

“I bet, son. I’m just really sorry that it came to this. I wish someone would have done more back before it was too late.”

“Don’t worry about that dad. You just focus on getting well again so you can come back and help us make more bricks for the Chairman.”

“Fair enough. I just hope that I can find a doctor who can see me soon.”

“You will. The Chairman says that the website will be up and running by the end of the month. You should get some help then.”

“It seems like I’ve heard that one before. I’ll talk to you later, son.”

Get Your Back Up Off The Wall: How To Finish The Mission When Things Get Hard

That’s it, fellow Christians. We’re done. We had a good run there for a few thousand years but it’s over now.

Just look at the news.

Gay marriage is gaining more and more acceptance. Pretty soon it will just be called marriage.

Christian military chaplains are being told to tone down the chaplain part of their duty.

Our own government is forcing some of us out of business if we refuse to fund our employee’s abortions.

The Braves are leaving Atlanta.

Tim Tebow doesn’t have a team to play for anymore.

When we focus too heavily on the situations around us, it’s easy to forget certain things that are important to our faith. Namely, God’s rule over all things and his faithfulness in piecing those things together for the good of his people.

The facts are clear. Christian influence in American culture is diminishing. Our backs are against the wall.

But that’s not all of the facts.

Even a quick survey of the history of Christianity reveals that opposition to the gospel always leads to greater opportunities. Paul is a good example. He was kicked out of Thessalonica so he took his message to Berea. When trouble caught up to him there he moved on to Athens to share his hope with pagan philosophers.

But eventually he got caught. This had to seem like the end for many of the young believers who had only recently repented and believed in Christ. Their earthly leader was on trial for his life. What would this mean for their new found faith? As usual, Paul serves as an example to believers (Philippians 3:17), then and today, who struggle with obeying God’s command to take the gospel to the world when the world seems to want nothing to do with that message. Or those of us who carry it.

It all starts with a command. And a promise.

Jesus commands his followers to make disciples of all nations. He promises us that he will be with us during the process (Matthew 28:19-20).

For Paul, the command and the promise was a bit more specific.

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so yo must testify also in Rome.” Acts 23:11 (ESV)

Essentially, the message from Jesus is the same for us as it was to Paul.

Things will be difficult. People will oppose you. But I have a job for you. And I am with you. So be brave.

And that’s just what Paul did as he endured opposition from angry mobs and corrupt leaders. We would do well to imitate Paul’s faithfulness as his back was against the wall. Here are five reminders for us as we try to finish our mission when it gets hard.

1. Remember that you live in a corrupt world (Acts 25:1-12).

Festus was overseeing this portion of Paul’s trial. He knew that he had nothing on Paul but he let things go on as a favor to the Jews who brought serious charges against Paul, “that they could not prove” (25:7).

Mob rule has not gone out of style yet. Neither have corrupt government officials. And we are not immune from the consequences of such evils.

2. Remember that your true identity is not in this world (Acts 25:13-27).

By this time Agrippa and Bernice have come to hear Paul’s defense. They are corrupt leaders and proud about it. The Bible says that they show up with “great pomp” (25:23). Think Super Bowl halftime show.

And then there’s Paul.

Chained. Bruised. But content.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 (ESV)

Great pomp usually exists to mask the lack of substance. Again, think Super Bowl halftime show. But contentment is the result of being ever aware of our standing in Christ. Even if our bodies carry the marks of abuse from a world that opposes us.

3. Remember who you used to be (Acts 26:1-11).

Paul never tried to hide his former life. Here he goes into great detail describing who he was before Christ rescued him. The words and phrases he uses are very important.

“Pharisee.”

“Opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Locked up many of the saints.”

“Punished them often.”

“Tried to make them blaspheme.”

“Persecuted them even to foreign cities.”

These were all things that were being done to Paul. It’s as if he was saying to his accusers, “I was just like you. Apart from Christ, we are no different.”

We must look at our world the same way. The sins we see, we were either once guilty of ourselves or we would be guilty of were it not for Christ. Apart from Christ, we are no different than those who oppose us.

4. Remember your mission (Acts 26:16-23).

Sometimes I think that the world would be a much better place if we had smaller government. That just might be true but the aim in such thought is too low. While Christians absolutely must be involved in improving this world, we kid ourselves if we ignore the next world.

Jesus’ assignment to Paul was clear.

“To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:18 (ESV)

Great politicians and well mannered, politically informed masses still go to hell without Jesus. While addressing the temporary we must never forget the eternal.

5. Check your passions (26:24-32).

It’s one of the most compelling scenes in the New Testament. King Agrippa seems to be responding favorably to Paul’s message. He even asks Paul if he is trying to persuade him to become a Christian (28).

Paul’s response is a memorable one.

And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am – except for these chains.” Acts 26:29 (ESV)

When Paul looked across the room at King Agrippa, he didn’t see an enemy who deserved eternal punishment. He saw a human being, blinded by Satan from grasping the beauty of the gospel, who deserved eternal punishment. And Paul wanted desperately to see the king’s eyes opened. Just like his were years before.

Our heart must beat the same as Paul’s. How can we expect anything to change in the heart’s of those who oppose our Lord if we don’t love them enough to want to see them enjoying the same hope that we have?

The world really is a dark place. But sometimes darkness is the best place for light to shine.

When we understand that we just might begin to see opposition to the gospel as an opportunity for it to spread.

One More Good Time

The the carpet in my house looked something like Afghanistan. Its natural color was brown so I’m sure that helped to mask some of the dirt. But, over time, the stains from dogs with no bathroom skills and kids with no eating skills proved to be too much. Growing up, I was ashamed of the carpet in my house.

The furniture wasn’t any better. It was pieced together as people gave us their old stuff.

Things got worse when you walked outside.

For a lot of years the garage door had several panels missing from where I drove my big wheel into it. And then there was the paint. To save a few dollars we decided to paint our house ourselves. It was tragic. I don’t know if purple is the right word. I don’t even know if there is a word to describe that color. On a positive note, I think John Mellencamp wrote a song about our house.

I grew up in a house with bad carpet, questionable furniture and a paint job that inspired a John Mellencamp song. Or the creation of Barney and Friends.

Like I said, I was ashamed.

But there was something funny about that house.

All of my friends hung out there. All the time.

Together, we saw Mike Tyson become a household name. We watched the Braves lose hundreds of games. And we watched a lot of movies. I think I saw Airplane! 37 times before I turned 14.

But why? Why would other teenagers willingly spend almost every weekend in a purple(ish) house with donated furniture and carpet that looked like the scene of a homicide investigation?

I can only think of one reason.

Brenda Sanders.

She was no master chef. Most of her meals involved can openers and Hamburger Helper boxes. But she was a master servant. She put two cups of sugar in her sweet tea and made it available to everyone. Today, a parent would be arrested for adding two cups of sugar to a gallon of tea. But we loved it. And there was always enough.

Our TV wasn’t anything special. There was no man cave with a 52-inch screen mounted on the wall. It was just a room. But it was a room where guys felt comfortable.

My mom managed to be around without ever hovering. She stuck her head in to see if we needed anything but never crowded us. Most nights, once she knew we had everything we needed, she went back to her room and fell asleep while we watched a young kid named Tyson knock people out. And she slept peacefully, knowing where her son was and who he was with.

Last weekend my son had a friend over. They didn’t watch Tyson fights or Airplane! 37 times. Maybe next weekend. I mostly left the boys alone while they played. Their voices and laughter made a beautiful soundtrack. A soundtrack that reminded me of the movie I lived in with all of my friends in that old house with the bad carpet. And I thought about the person that kept them coming back.

Brenda Sanders.

Some of the best years of my life were spent in that living room. But those moments never last.

Tyson got knocked out and the jokes from Airplane! started to get old. Eventually, all of my friends spread out. One went to Europe. Most of the rest of us just moved to another town or went to college. We got married and started having kids and taking our stories in different directions. Now our late nights end at 10:00 and involve diapers or soccer practice.

It seems like decades since those weekends spent watching boxing and movies with my friends. It has been decades.

But not too long ago, we did have one last good time. There was no TV but there was plenty of sweet tea. We sat around a kitchen table in a different house and spent hours sharing stories. Most of those stories had something to do with the house I grew up in. The house we all grew up in.

A lot of those stories were about my mom.

Brenda Sanders.

Funerals have a way of bringing friends back together for one more good time.

I’m really glad that I grew up with those guys. I’m glad that they weren’t ashamed to come to a purple house with crime scene carpet. Those guys are a part of who I am. I’ll see one of them this weekend and I can’t wait.

I just hope that my sons have friends like the ones I had.

And I hope that I can make those friends feel at home.

Like Brenda Sanders did.

Killing Billy: Attacking the Reverend’s Hope

That didn’t take long.

Last week I watched Billy Graham on TV.

Billy Graham.

When my wife and I were growing up, Graham was the standard by which all other ministers were measured. The same was true for the generation before ours. And the one before that one. Throughout those years, whenever a minister started to gain national attention, the media wondered aloud if he was, “the next Billy Graham.”

When I was in college I got to see him live at the Georgia Dome. His message was simple. I don’t remember any of his points or illustrations. I just remember him presenting the gospel. And I remember the people who responded to Graham’s plea to repent and believe in that gospel. There were hundreds of them.

I don’t think that I had heard him for more than a minute or two since that night in Atlanta. When I found out that he was having another TV special, I made it a family affair. My kids sat quietly as they listened to the man who a few minutes before they didn’t even know existed. One of my kids wept loudly after witnessing Graham’s gospel presentation and the change Jesus brought to two people featured in the special.

It was a good moment for our family.

Leave it to the Internet to ruin a perfectly good family moment. I guess I shouldn’t blame it on the Internet. Just a few of the people who use the Internet.

When I was in seminary, every class had that one guy. The guy who thought he knew more than the professor. The guy who raised his hand, not to ask a question, but to display his intelligence to the rest of us. The guy who thought anyone who disagreed with him was a (insert: liberal, subscriber of New Age philosophies, spawn of Satan, New York Yankee fan).

Well, that guy graduated, got himself a website and used it to publish his heavily footnoted paper revealing that one or two of the hymns we sang in church last Sunday was most certainly written by a spawn of Satan.

People from this guy’s tribe were outraged by the special they saw on TV. For them, Graham’s gospel was inadequate, mainly because of one phrase he used.

“God loves you.”

Man, it was as if Billy Graham took a hit off of a crack pipe and gave twerking lessons.

Here’s a verse that keeps coming up in the tribal critiques of Graham.

As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Romans 9:13 (ESV)

But should this verse and others like it keep us from preaching God’s love? In my next sermon, perhaps I should say, “There are some in here that are loved by God. You sir, on the third row, probably are not one of them. Please leave. And throw away your New York Yankees hat on the way out.”

Or maybe I should just take Graham’s approach. An approach that he got from the Apostle John.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)

The Bible teaches election. It tells us that those who are saved were chosen by God, in his grace, before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1-2). But it does not tell us exactly who all of those chosen people are. To borrow from a well-worn phrase, God hasn’t painted a yellow stripe on his elect. Therefore, the best approach is to preach the gospel to any whoever we come across and trust the results to Jesus.

My fear is that some of those who are critiquing Graham’s special aren’t doing so out of a concern for sound theology. Rather, they’re just defending their tribe. Had one of their preferred preachers or theologians produced the exact same special and thrown in a quote from a Puritan, everything would be just fine.

We must be careful here. We need to continually examine our hearts to see if we are more devoted to a particular minister of the gospel than we are to the gospel itself. Do we love a Jesus who uses imperfect instruments like you, me, John Calvin and Billy Graham or do we prefer a Jesus who checks with us first before deciding who he will use? An honest answer reveals the true nature of our heart.

If Jesus had his own TV special today, there would be plenty of religious people who discounted his message for not being “gospel-centered” enough.

I can hear them now.

“He talks too much about social issues.”

“Enough about money.”

“What’s with all of the stories? Get to the point, Jesus!”

I can hear them now because I read responses like that in the Bible from religious people who opposed Jesus for not meeting their standards.

So they killed him, rejecting his message in favor of their own.

And if we’re not careful, we can do the exact same thing.

Dangerous Ideas Have Dangerous Consequences

“Which so called ‘dangerous idea’ do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it were implemented?”

That question was posed to gay activist Dan Savage during an appearance on an Australian television show.

Here’s his answer. 

Warning: Graphic Language

This is nothing new. For decades people have been promoting population control. The Nazis did it. The Americans wanted to do it but never really got the chance until the Margaret Sanger influenced Planned Parenthood gained prominence (and federal funding).

But there’s one question that those who push eugenics never seem to answer, at least not in public.

Who dies? Who exactly gets to do the noble service of taking one for the cause?

Progressive activists? Elite politicians?

Not hardly. While they may never say it publicly, at least not in clear terms, those who preach the gospel of population control have their crosshairs set on the weak and defenseless. That means babies. Unborn babies. Just born babies. Two-year-old babies. Or in Sanger’s and Planned Parenthood’s case, black babies.

And it means the sick. After all, if we’re going to be paying for each other’s healthcare, we can’t allow sick people to weigh down the system. If someone’s not doing their part and only emitting carbon, they must go.

But there’s another question. Who gets to decide who dies?

Progressive activists? Elite politicians?

Probably so. Which is one of the disturbing things about Savage’s comment. After he said it, people cheered. It’s as if they were assuming that they wouldn’t be the one’s chosen to take one for the team. And why should they have to? They we’re fit enough to survive their way out of the womb and through those first two (or 12) years of life that progressives like to say isn’t really life. But I wonder how many of those who cheered Savage’s comment drove home hoping that they never contract some terminal disease in a world where Mr. Savage gets his way.

Dangerous ideas have dangerous consequences.

For some, it’s fun to talk about those dangerous ideas. Maybe even to promote them. And the consequences can be fun too. Just so long as they aren’t the ones who have to endure  those consequences.

But back to the initial question.

“Which so called ‘dangerous idea’ do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it were implemented?”

Thanks for asking.

Before time began, God had his own dangerous idea.

He created mankind in his own image, knowing that they would rebel against him.

He sent his Son to live among the very people who rebelled against him, knowing that this time their rebellion would mean the attempted murder of the Christ Child. Old ideas die hard.

He ordained that his Son would be murdered by an angry mob, knowing that only the blood of this perfect Man could set his rebellious people free.

He brought this perfect Man back from death, showing us that he was truly God.

We are a bloodthirsty and rebellious people. We  have rebelled against the One who created us and we killed the only One who could set us free. We did exactly what God knew we would do.

The gospel is God’s dangerous idea.

The cross was the dangerous consequence.

So ultimately it is God who decides who lives and who dies. Before the foundation of the world, before even time began, God chose his own Son, instead of us, to endure the danger of his wrath. And by God’s grace, though faith, we are changed for the better.