By: Justine Johnson
*The views in this article are not necessarily the views of Cardboard magazine as a whole*
This past Sunday night, I had the opportunity to listen as my brother in Christ and fellow Cardboard writer, Michael Simmelink, spoke in our college’s Praise and Worship service. He used Luke 9:57-62 as the foundation for his message, and his main point was that God is a god of all comfort, but that doesn’t mean He wants us to be comfortable.
I agreed with most of what Michael said, but there were a couple of points that I was a bit unsure about. The first is what he said about Christians holding the American Dream nearly as high as following Jesus. Perhaps I am unique in my experience, but I have never held the American Dream near to my heart at all. There is a good possibility that I am misunderstanding what Michael is saying there, but as I interpreted his meaning, the typical American Christian is more concerned about having a successful, comfortable life than they are about devoting their life to serving God. I don’t think that is necessarily true.
I also think that Michael could have emphasized the concept of obedience more in his message. He kept talking about how we might have to be uncomfortable to follow Jesus, but he didn’t mention the importance of obeying Christ’s command to follow Him. True, we may have to leave physical or emotional comfort behind to be a Christian. But in the long run, is that really the most crucial part of the task to remember? I don’t think so. In my personal walk with Jesus (which is not an example to imitate, by any means), I have found that God’s comfort can come even when I am most uncomfortable…but only when I am obedient.
A final topic that I want to touch on briefly is that of the swearing. I respect that many college students curse or are not offended by cursing, but personally I am not a fan of it, no matter the situation. It is not that I am offended by it, though. As a writer, I am of the opinion that when we have the entire English language at our disposal, a point can be more effectively made when creative adjectives are used instead of swear words. I also know that this opinion is becoming increasingly unpopular among Christian college students. With that in mind, it is with love and respect that I raise a complaint about the usage of foul language in a sermon, not negative judgment.
So in conclusion, I want to reiterate that I love Michael as my brother in Christ, and that I agreed with most of what he said. My prayer is that everyone reading this or watching the video will keep that in mind and give my opinion a fair chance as well.