I know that church signs are easy pickings for a good rant, but every once in a while one seems just close enough to biblical, and yet so far away, that it is worth noting.
I pass a sign every day that reads, “The safest place to be is within the will of God.”
I think I understand what the people want to convey with such a sign – that God is ultimately our protector and shepherd who gives us comfort and wards us from evil. But in an American Christianity held captive by sentimentality and safety, I think the church sign sends the wrong message – namely that God is here for your safety and He will protect you from all wrong; that a life in the will of God (whatever that means!) will bring comfort and ease. In other words, it promises “peace, peace, when there is no peace.”
The problem is that this safety is, of course, never promised to us in Scripture.
You never once heard Jesus saying to the disciples, “Hey guys, don’t worry about the Romans. They don’t like me much, but you guys shouldn’t have a problem with them. Once I’m gone, I’m pretty sure they’ll leave you alone.”
No, quite to the contrary, Jesus tells them that before they follow him they are to be fully aware that this can only end in a cross. Death is where this Christianity thing is headed – therefore count the cost!
Jesus didn’t come to give us safe, sentimental religion. Jesus came to call us to revolution – to a life that is not afraid of death or those who can bring death because we believe that Christ has defeated death and our ultimate end is resurrection.
Safe, sentimental religion is not Christianity. Christianity is a religion of self-sacrifice not safety, death not sentimentality.
Therefore, quite contrary to the church sign, the most dangerous place to be in this life might very well be within the will of God. If you want safety, run from Christianity. If you want sentimentality, flee as fast as you can because the way of Jesus is the way of a cross.