For there were many who hindered this mission. They even talked among themselves behind my back, saying: "Who is this fellow going into danger among enemies who do not know God?"
- Patrick, Confession (British, 5th century)
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus...
- Philippians 2.5
In The Ruin of Britain Gildas, in the 6th century, gave us a look at the state of churches and pastors in Britain in Patrick's day. There was nothing dangerous about how these men lived their Christian lives. Status quo ad perpetuum may as well have been their rallying cry.
Which was why they found it so hard to understand Patrick's desire to go as a missionary to Ireland. Why, not even the Roman legions had gone to Ireland! Who did this upstart think he was?
Well, he thought he was a follower of Christ. Jesus came to a foreign world where everybody was His enemy, including you and me. And it's a good thing He did, isn't it?
I wonder if people who know us look at us and say, "Why does he insist on living such a dangerous life?" Not likely. "Going into danger" in the name of the Lord doesn't describe our everyday lives as believers.
Or does it? Perhaps it does, and we just don't realize it. After all, spiritual forces of wickedness in high places draw a bead on us all our waking moments. Enemies of God and the Gospel populate sectors of our Personal Mission Fields. You betcha, it can be dangerous out there.
But only if we go like Patrick did, determined to make Christ known, to challenge the Lie wherever it appears, to call people to repentance and faith, to offer the gesture of love, to lay down our lives for the last, the least, and the lost.
Being a Christian can get dangerous pretty quickly when this is how we choose to live.
But living this way means the ruin of Satan's dominion and the liberation of souls to life in the Kingdom of God. That's certainly worth a little danger each day, don't you think?
We're going to contribute to the ruin of something today. If we live cautiously and risk nothing for the Gospel, we might ruin our faith and contribute to the ruin of our culture. Status quo ad perpetuum!
On the other hand, we could, by living dangerously like Patrick, help to hasten the ruin of Satan's grip on someone who needs a Patrick in his life to help him break free from deadness in sin to fullness of life in Christ.
So what will you be seeking to ruin today?