It seems funny that Christians get offended at being called “unintelligent” or “foolish” for proclaiming the Gospel. I include myself in this group because for the longest time I struggled when someone viewed my faith as “primitive” or “backwards”.
In reality we should not be so surprised. Being considered a fool because of one’s faith is promised in Scripture though it will never be found in “The Bible Promise Book“. I also find it comforting that Paul, who was absolutely brilliant, was mocked because he proclaimed the Resurrection and was even called a “babbler”. (Acts 17:32, 18)
The promise of being called a fool comes from 1 Corinthians. Paul says that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) He also says that the cross will not only appear foolish but it will also be offensive.
So I wonder if the whole goal to lessen the offense or even the “foolishness” of the cross in order to be “relevant”, the cross will also lose its saving power. This is not to say that Christianity cannot be logically defended. (1 Peter 3:15) It can and it is. This is also not to say that the Gospel should not be preached in a loving way being all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). But if Christian apologetics is diminished to defending our image before society, then we have lost our focus.
Is the society to affect the Gospel or is the Gospel to affect society?
I have no doubt that Christians will be hated because the world first hated Christ (John 15:18). The world will also see Christians as fools and intolerant because we say that Christ is the only way just as He proclaimed (John 14:6). Paul promised us suffering if we indeed desire to live a Godly life. (2 Timothy 3:16)
These are the promises that no one talks about. I wonder in my own life when I don’t see them revealed if I am truly living as Christ would have me to live. Am I living such a radical life for Christ that it is actually costing me? Or am I compromising the message of the cross so I don’t appear intolerant or foolish?
What I do know is that I must preach the death and resurrection of Christ because that is the very Power and Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). The Gospel saves. Not man nor his feeble attempts to preach a sunshine gospel that lacks any power. We must preach the pure Gospel and be prepared for the consequences and accept them with joy that we are counted so worthy. (Acts 5:40, 41)
I might be called a fool for proclaiming the cross of Christ, but I can at least rejoice that I am fulfilling this promise of Scripture. Maybe if we accepted the reality of these promises we would be bolder and more effective for the Kingdom of God.