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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Christian Message in The Emperors New Clothes

I was clearing out old notes on my iPhone today and stumbled upon this little gem, I think I had intended it to be a Vlog but forgot I had written it!

Oh well, hope this speaks to someone...

Recently I found myself thinking about the Hans Christian Anderson story of the Emperors New Cloths.

In case you haven't heard it before it is the tale of a king who had to have all the latest fashions, when one day two conniving tailors came along and convinced the king that they had the most expensive and fashionable outfit that money could buy, only they didn't really have anything at all, it was a scam, a scam so convincing that the King, not wanting to look like a fool, bought the outfit and went about his palace in the nude showing off his wonderful new "garment" to his attendants who were too afraid (and embarrassed) to tell the king the truth about his obvious nudity, that they played along with the deception.

After a while even his lords and ladies were sucked into the sad affair and told the King what wonderful new clothes he wore as he stood there in all his naked glory like a peacock with invisible feathers! Eventually everyone in the kingdom was in on the terrible joke, each subject just as afraid as the other to even dare speak the obvious truth that the only suit the King wore was the one he wore on his birthday, and they applauded the king as he paraded his nakedness in the streets for all the subjects to admire...

Until suddenly a small child who didn't yet know enough to be embarrassed and was innocent enough not to be afraid of a King cried, "he's not wearing any clothes! Why is the king naked?" And with that the spell was broken, as the subjects began to laugh at the naked king and he rushed off to his castle ashamed at what a fool he had been...

You know that has to be one of my favorite stories. As a child it must have taught me the moral of not following the crowd. But now as an adult in today's freaky world I've discovered another application. For me this story is about the bankruptcy of political correctness vs what it means to be a Christian.

Once upon a time in the West we based our lives on ten simple rules based on truth. We called them the Ten Commandments. But then "tailors" came along and told us there was no God and that the Bible was just a bunch of silly stories and the "tailors" were so convincing that we put on their invisible clothes.

Now the majority of people in the world today, particularly in our English speaking culture pat each other on the back and applaud one another's nakedness. We no longer have the morality that came from the Bible but instead follow this weird notion of political correctness where instead of talking about things as being right or wrong, moral or immoral, we refer to them as being offensive or inoffensive, politically correct or incorrect, legal or illegal. When really our society is just morally bankrupt, too afraid to stand up for what is right because they're too busy following the crowd.

Jesus said To his disciples that unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Now obviously he was talking about a child's humility or willingness to trust but like the story above children have a natural dedication to say what is really there. Many times a twelve year old has stood next to me and innocently commented on how much taller they are than me, or an 8 year old might look at me and comment on my crooked teeth or the best one was when my niece once saw me with my shirt off, took one look at my huge belly and fell over in a laughing fit. They're not being intentionally offensive, they're just stating the obvious.

And that in a nutshell is what I believe a Christian is. We are meant to be the child in the crowd who cries out, "why is the king naked?"

People are offended by Christians but they shouldn't be. I can speak for myself that I am not trying to condemn or to be intentionally offensive, but like a child I have that same dedication to the truth and tendency to state what is really there. That is why I say things like, abortion represents a terrible double standard in society where we applaud each other for our right to choose but then don't understand why there is so much child abuse. That is why I will say that I am created in God's image, not in the image of the missing link that is still missing. That is why I will say that high school massacres can be traced back to the years after prayer and the Bible was taken out of schools. That is why I will remind you that Christmas has been hijacked by Santa's terrorist unit of fairies and magic elves when traditionally, and for nearly two thousand years, we have celebrated the birth of Christ and in in little more than a century we have managed to wipe out two thousand years of tradition.

It's because I am that child in the maddened crowd that I will tell you that Jesus did not die to take the punishment for your political incorrectness, he died for your sins and through faith in him you will not perish but have everlasting life.

Do You really want to go through life too scared to admit that you are following the same lie like the rest of the crowd, that like the king in the story you are spiritually naked and the clothes you think you're wearing are just pretend and are little more than a cruel joke?

Jesus told another story about a different King who held a wedding feast, and while the feast was in full swing he came in to see his wedding guests but noticed a man there who wasn't wearing clothes. He told his attendants to tie up that man and throw him outside into the darkness where there would be weeping an gnashing of teeth. Sounds harsh but you see in those days if you were invited to a wedding the host provided you with clothes for the occasion, so for the guy not to be wearing clothes at the wedding meant that he wasn't a real guest, but an intruder, an impostor.

Just like the King in this parable, Jesus has provided the world with the clothes they need to know God and to have eternal life with him in heaven. You don't have to walk around pretending anymore. You can come to Jesus right now and say, "Lord save me, I repent of my sins and choose to follow you" and he will cloth you not in political correctness, but in his righteousness.

This World is full of deceiving tailors and naked Kings. Only few are brave enough to be the child in the crowd, to be the true Christian who goes against the flow.

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely idea! during winter stay warm by wearing cool color t shirts layer it jacket and cardigans also!.......christian shirts


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