Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joe Christian and the "Full Brain Syndrome"

Imagine with me that you are at a ball game for a moment. It could be basketball, baseball, or football (or for all you Majority World people out there: Soccer ). You are sitting in the stands cheering as your team scores points and the person seated next to you is cheering as well. You turn to them and mention one of the players and they say, "Who is that?"
"Oh, I thought you were a _________ fan, too."
"I am. I have been for ten years."
"Oh, then you must have started watching when ___________was coaching?"
"Um, yeah, I guess."
"I thought you said you have been a fan for ten years?"
"Oh yes, just love it! It's the best thing in the world."
"Ok...well...then tell me about it."
"Well, those guys there are supposed to get that ball there, and there is running involved and they score points. It's just great!"

You scratch your head because this person claims to have been a fan of this team for 10 years and they have only the most rudimentary knowledge of the game.
"So, if you are such a huge fan, why don't you know anything about the team or the game after 10 years? I could understand if you just started getting into this sport, but you've been into it for a while."
"All that stuff is over my head. All I need to know is what team I'm rooting for. I tried learning stats and the history of the program, but I just couldn't get into it. Made my head hurt."

What would you think if you came across someone like this? Would you take them seriously?
What if someone approached you at work and said, "So, you're a Christian right?"
"Uh, yes."
"How long?"
"Um. Ten years."
"Great! I've been wanting to know what Christians believe, can you tell me?"
This is a question we all need to ask ourselves, and none of us can ever say that we have arrived at the end. There is always more to know. The question is one of motive. Are we complacent in our limited knowledge? Are we comfortable with knowing the bare basics of the Christian faith? Are we too busy with other things to ask serious questions about our faith and then go looking for answers?

Recently, my friend Alan told me that he was filming a game between two rival football teams. While the home team was in the locker room, the coach asked the players why they couldn't always play the way they were that night. They were motivated to play their best because of the long history of the rivalry, but when they would play other teams they would not try as hard.
The point is: we all give our best to the things that are important to us.
How important is Christ in our lives?
The apostle Peter exhorts the Church: "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1 Peter 3:15). We need to be prepared, and to do this we need to prepare. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent with the little knowledge that we have, but rather we need to seek to grow in the knowledge of the Messiah Jesus.

Perhaps you are pushing forward on your journey, and are actively in the game. You are stretching your mind to know more and more. Awesome! Then it is time to encourage others to do the same because there are too many Christians out there with "full brain syndrome"--they have stopped learning because it seemed like too much. We all have to start somewhere. Stretching/growing hurts. It's not easy. But like they say, "No pain. No gain."

"Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:17-18)

1 comment: