In his book Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman makes a similar point when he says that most Christians today are quite content with being a fan of Jesus rather than a follower of Jesus: better to admire Jesus from the sidelines than make the decision to follow him and pick up a cross. Idleman wants us to understand that whenever we make the cross into a ladder for our own self-promotion or admiration, even to get into heaven, we have missed the point of the gospel.
This is close to what the apostle Paul means when he says that we “preach Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2) – a notion completely out of sink with pagan culture. It is Paul’s way of saying that we do not preach a gospel of easy answers: rather, we preach a gospel that keeps coming back to the cross, or to the distance Jesus keeps, so that God can keep the throne of grace free, untamed, and uncontrollable. It also keeps the gospel interesting. In fact, as a pastor, I can’t think of anything more dishonest than preaching such a gospel of “cheap love.” By minding what is in plain sight, we realize that a gap exists between God and us, and it is a gap we call the cross.
How might we recognize this gap in ourselves during this Lenten Journey? How might we come to confess Christ and our relationship to him when we come into his presence? How may we recognize how this gap makes us aware of how amazing grace is?
Pastor Andy Kinsey