Every year we use Halloween as our day to play “pretend”. And no matter how young or old, we see people getting into their fairytale attire and killer zombie outfits.
Although this holiday has some innocent fun behind its premise, Halloween is a holiday that opened up my eyes to something painful and sorrowful, but true. I remember one year specifically as a child. I wanted to dress as the Red Ranger from The Power Rangers, but all they had left was a Blue Ranger costume. And if you remember the original Power Rangers correctly, Billy the Blue Ranger, was a total nerd. Anyways, against my preference I ended up buying the Blue Ranger costume because it was all they had left. And frankly neither my mom nor I wanted to continue shopping for an outfit I’d only wear once. Regardless, for one night of my life I was going to be a Power Ranger and I didn’t care that I was the Blue Ranger.
As Halloween came around, I remember looking in the mirror, fully decked out in my Blue Ranger costume, laser pistol, and sound activated ranger gloves. If I recall correctly, I looked pretty sweet. I remember feeling like I could take on the world, or even fight anyone who came in my path. The costume I was wearing looked so good, that I began to believe I actually WAS a Power Ranger.
So, I did what any extremely awesome seven year old kid would do, I began practicing my ninja moves in the mirror, just in case someone tried to steal my candy or hurt my parents as we walked through dangerous suburbia. As I continued practicing my advanced ninja moves, I remember doing an incredibly bad ninja back kick against my bathroom sink. All of a sudden I realized I was on the ground, my head felt like it had been kicked by elephant, and my knee had been scraped up by the edge of the bathroom door. To be completely honest, I don’t remember exactly what went wrong, but I don’t think the kick went as I had planned.
As I sat on my tiled bathroom floor in tears and the blood began to trickle down the side of me knee-cap, I realized something incredibly heart breaking. It was something that would destroy the hope in any seven year olds heart. I realized at that very moment, I wasn’t a power-ranger. I didn’t have super powers. I didn’t fight crime, nor did I have an incredibly good looking side-kick named Kimberly. I was just a kid in a costume trying to be something I wasn’t, in hopes I could impress the people around me and prove I was actually the person the costume had made me out to be.
As my knee stopped bleeding and my mind deduced what had just happened, I cleaned myself up and took a good long look in the mirror. I remember standing their for a good fifteen minutes with the insecurities flooding through my head. “You’re not a Power Ranger,” they said. “The Red ranger would have been able to do that kick.” And just as the tears began to trickle down my face once more, my mom peeked her head into the door and said, “Hey my little Blue Ranger! Are you ready to get some candy or what?”
FACT: Moms have a powerful way of making things all better. And although she knew I wasn’t the Blue Ranger, I remember my mom telling me how great my costume looked, and that it was my job to protect us while we were out.
While this story has a cute and happy ending, it scares me to think that so many others who share a similar experience didn’t share the same ending. This story is about more than pretending to be a Power Ranger. This story represents a huge percentage of today’s Christians.
Think about it…
After reminiscing through my experience as a Power Ranger, I began to realize how many of us play pretend “Christianity” all year long. We dress the part, act the part, and even walk and talk to the part. But how many of us are just playing dress-up? How many of us are trying to fake as something we aren’t? And how many of us have turned a beautiful relationship with Jesus into a 24/7 masquerade event, only to end our day realizing we are not the person we claim to be…
I believe that “poser Christianity” is an epidemic in the Christian faith. It scares me to think about how many people are pretending to love Jesus while they sing, preach and baptize in His name. Is the Gospel still being shared? Yes. And are lives still being transformed? Yes, I don’t doubt God’s power to use all things for His good.
But imagine if everyone who claimed to love Jesus actually did. Imagine if every person who called themselves a “Christian” was actually a follower of Christ. If this was ever the case, we would see world change that would be paramount to the name of Christ. We would see nations finding hope, political parties finding passion, and churches flourishing with kingdom growth and multiplication.
We are called to be the change. It’s time to throw away the Power Ranger passion and pick up our crosses daily. It’s time to change the world.
- Jarrid Wilson