When I was a professor at a small Baptist college in Texas, I am certain my students tired of hearing this mantra from me:
I am tough/hard on you because the lost world thinks we are stupid because of our Christian Faith; therefore, you must be smarter/sharper/more prepared with the truth of Messiah Jesus when you go out there. That is why I am tough/hard. Get over it because the world will not cut you any slack!
Less you think I was the ogre of ogres, I showed mercy when mercy was needed. I also usually had the teacher/student evaluations at the school because they knew I cared.
So … why am I telling you this story? I ran across the quotation by Aldous Huxley this morning and sadly it describes the state of much of the world today, including Christendom — “The tendency of the masses is towards mediocrity.”
We want the path of least resistance. Everyone gets a trophy for just participating. Safe zones. And you can add a few more examples … I am sure.
We have become a society where average is successful and this includes within the walls of churches. We want a Gospel that is not offensive; however, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:23 “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”
We must not and cannot allow the truth of Messiah Jesus to become one of those things that drifts toward a mediocre presentation.
One of former students students who heard my mantra many time introduced me to a song that has haunting lyrics about what has happened to her generation because we allowed mediocrity to become the mantra instead of Gospel excellence. It is from the song “The City of Orphans”:
But this city has no Bible
There’s no meaning you can use
We’re all desperately searching for truth
We’re a city of orphans
Who had no place to go
So we cashed in our dreams, filled our glasses with Beam
and our bodies with smoke
and we spend every weeknight
trading pints at the Streamline
and we talk about truth and we talk about love but we wake up to lies, lies, lies
it’s a city of orphans
where did our fathers go
we stumble around in the bad part of town at the end of our rope
but there are no answers
on the tables of oak
if God could just hear us
we think that He’s near, but He left long ago
we’re a city of orphans
what do we do to ourselves?
There is no excuse! We must do better!