“Vanilla,” is the one word descriptor we chose for the town of
Fort Collins, Colorado. During our one week stay we saw maybe four people that couldn't be described as
White-Anglo. The U.S. Census affirms
this observation, indicating that 89% of the population is white. Interestingly Portland,
Oregon is roughly identical whereas
is 73% white. The violent crime
percentage in Redlands, California Fort Collins is 2.69%, compared to
5.17% for Portland
and 4.24% in my neighborhood. I've been
discussing these statistics with the average Christian. To my dismay most are eager to go live in a
safe, protected place like Colorado.
In his book Radical, David Platt says, “We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.” He goes on saying, “…we don’t want to believe it. We are afraid of what it might mean for our lives. So we rationalize these passages away…..A nice middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism…A Jesus who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether.” The church would largely have a Jesus that would want us to flee to the safety of a city with a very low crime rate rather than moving into a place where you will have impact. We are to be salt and light; not hidden and hiding.
These conversations with those safety-seeking Christians leave me disheartened. Though it motivates me to continue to be a catalyst for change. It’s a change that should be obvious and easy to see with an open Bible. William Carey, the father of missions said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” But if we live a protected, safe life there is no need for God to do great things. Dying and daring for God allow us the richness of joy and depth of delight when He proves Himself---over and over.