“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.” –Bruce Lee
Why did I choose No More Black Eyes for the title of this blog?
It’s a fair question to ask. As a result, it deserves a fair answer. To help explain, I’ll use an illustration from the world of boxing.
In a boxing match, the bright lights focus on three individuals: the referee and the two opponents. Of course, there’s a crowd that eagerly anticipates finding out who’s going to win. As the bell rings, the combatants rush forward to meet each other.
But something is different about this fight. One of the fighters is standing in the middle of the ring, taking all the punishment the other can dish out, refusing to take a swing. Soon, bruises begin to appear and blood begins to flow from a cut opened by a punch. The referee watches intently, waiting to see if the fight needs to be stopped. Meanwhile the hits keep coming, one after the other. The crowd begins to clamor for the knockout punch to come.
But none comes before the bell rings to end the round. Both fighters return to their respective corners, where encouragement and refreshment are provided by the trainers.
When the bell rings for the second time, the match resumes exactly where it left off—with one boxer pummeling the other in a display that is difficult to watch. Strangely enough, the referee refuses to stop the fight and declare a winner, since the boxer taking the beating won’t go down.
The next rounds offer more of the same one-sided struggle. The crowd, once restless for a merciful end to the bout, has now become enamored to see just how much abuse one man can take. A few have had enough and head for the exits. Others rush past security, climb into the ring, and begin to protect the bruised and bloodied fighter by throwing punches of their own. Some connect, but not enough to keep the onslaught from continuing. The only saving grace is the bell at the end of the round. Security comes in and gets rid of the fans in the ring, then the bell rings again.
More fans enter the ring to protect the fighter, but a new group of paid attendees have decided that enough is enough. They get out of their seats and head for the fighter actually throwing punches to join their cause. Some protect him from the other fans’ punches, but others relish the opportunity to see if they can get the other person to take a swing or two. Some pray. Some scream. Some choose to throw an uppercut or jab of their own. Others begin to show their karate and jujitsu skills.
And still the fighter will not fall down.
And the rounds keep coming.
And the fight hasn’t ended yet.
Ever since 33 AD, Jesus has become the Forgiver and Leader for millions around the world. Yet he made it pretty clear while on earth that there were going to be people who wouldn’t like the plan God has for the world He created. And they weren’t going to sit around and let His truth spread like wildfire. So countless attempts to subterfuge and undermine the faith have been undertaken over the years.
So the question is this: If it’s the responsibility (read: job) of Christians to tell others about Jesus and make a positive eternal difference, then why is He receiving black eyes from His own disciples? Why do the ones who love Him hurt Him so much?
I’m sure these questions have been asked many times during the last 2000 years. Yet the pummelings, jabs, and sucker punches continue generation after generation. Gossip that divides and disintegrates relationships. Intolerance that alienates and paralyzes belief. Fear that freezes and stifles individuality. Failures in morality. Acceptance of the status quo.
Yet Jesus remains standing.
Perhaps you’re wondering if the concept of Christians giving Jesus black eyes is too extreme or too controversial.
But this is exactly why this topic needs to be discussed. For too many years, leaders of the Christian faith have refused to warn of the dangers that personal thoughts and actions can have on the world’s opinion of Christ. This is a topic whose time has come. Otherwise, there is a serious risk that ours and upcoming generations will find the faith of our fathers an irrelevant byline in the annals of history.
The time is now.
Are you ready to drop the gloves once and for all?