Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Sad Case of the Headless Chook - CROSS PURPOSES 135


September 24 2008

The Sad Case of the Headless Chook

At the recent Pastors’ Conference at Warrambui one of the pastors was telling about the first time he watched a chook experience the axe. Off went the head, and away went the chook, round and round the yard.
“Hey, Uncle, what’s that chook doing?”
“Don’t worry about it. It just doesn’t know it’s dead yet!”

Oh yes, we chuckle. And why not? It’s clever, it’s obvious and it’s funny. As Aussies would say, “The chicken’s not the sharpest tool in the box.” Or as Foghorn Leghorn was known to say, “He’s as sharp as a bowling ball!”

COULD IT BE TRUE OF THE HUMAN RACE? “ It just doesn’t know it’s dead yet”.

WHAT IF IT’S TRUE OF US? OF YOU OR OF ME? You don’t think that’s possible? Let me share something with you.

Of all the challenges I face in working for the church the one which gives me most grief is this: I’m surrounded by hundreds of Gen Xers and Gen Yers who have given up on God. Look across the churches and the age structure 16-45 has all but disappeared. Almost all of these young people I’m talking about have has a seriously good introduction to the things of God. Many have had a brilliant education in Lutheran High Schools. And then they gave up on God. Why? I don’t know and I wish I did. I’ll try to set something on paper.

1. God is boring.
2. God is irrelevant.
3. God is full of lies and so is the scripture and the church.
4. God isn’t compatible with my freedom, my lifestyle, or my trust in science.
5. If I were to take the God seriously I might have to change my priorities and behaviour.
6. I can’t be bothered with God .
7. I just don’t need God.
8. It’s easier if I tell myself God is dead – that way I have zip to account for.
9. God is dead.

COULD THAT BE IT? “GOD IS DEAD BUT HE JUST DOESN’T KNOW IT YET?” This would be a convenient truth, or a terrifying truth, depending on your perspective.


I reckon you’re not dead yet. You’re bothering to read this for a start. You know about God. It’s all still there but the flame needs to be breathed back to life. What I do know is that there’s an awful lot of under 50’s who are in danger of spiritual and eternal death. A whole generation seems to have walked away from a faith which was freely received and welcomed by generation after generation for hundreds of years.

If God is dead (and doesn’t know it yet), then by all means do your best and worst in life.

If you are dead, or near death in spirit (-and you know it!) – then pray to God that he show you the exact nature of your death, that reality which reduces your life to a one dimensional shallowness / emptiness.

But know, oh yes please know, that the Holy Spirit freely reveals Jesus Christ to those who humble themselves before God and turn to him.

And know, please, that he has a particularly joyful welcome for those who long for real life. He knows you are stubborn often and ignorant frequently. He still loves you better than the best ever possible mum and dad, might have done and then some!

The Father waits.
Jesus, with his shepherd’s crook, has hooked you.
And longs for your willingness to come home.

Bless you people



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