John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Association of Churches of which I call myself a part, tells a story of seeing a homeless man with a sandwich board that reads “I’m a fool for Christ who’s fool are you?” and I’ve talked about it before and embraced the identity of being a fool for Christ.
After all the message of the cross is foolishness.
God uses the weak to shame the strong and the foolish to shame the wise.
But here’s the catch – I am only ever genuinely offended when someone calls me stupid or foolish and means it. So what do I do? I fake it. I lie about it and proudly proclaim that I am a fool for Christ, and demand my forever rebelling spirit acquiesce to a demand as foreign to it as space travel is foreign to a whale (excepting of course the lovely pair from Star Trek V the voyage home).
Part of the work that Christ is doing in me now has to do with being honest with myself. I can’t handle voluntarily being a fool. I don’t know what it is about me that this is an issue and I don’t know if this is symptomatic of a deeper issue. I accept the possibility that it might be. However, it is not that I am unwilling to be rejected for my faith and it is not that I fear ridicule from those who disagree with me. It irritates me to o end, but that doesn’t stop me. It is simply that I can no longer bear calling myself a fool or an idiot. It just doesn’t settle right and usually ends up with me arguing with myself.
I don’t think I can call myself a fool for Christ anymore – but I can certainly call myself a Jesus Freak.