I really liked this book. I discovered it back in 1988 or 89 when it first came out. I enjoyed it and found it challenging.
I misplaced it — thought I had loaned it out never to be seen again. It was a book that came on the heels of having spent about 5 years in frustrating ministry situations and another 5-7 in the “secular” world as a tent-maker minister.
The time in the “secular” world had opened my eyes to how narrowly I tended to view what constituted a “true believer”. I had come away from Bible College with a very idealized perspective. A few years in the trenches of reality were a literal “God-send”.
Then Fischer’s book put words to the conflict and the revised view of the church I sorely needed.
“So it this it? This what it comes down to: real Christians don’t dance? Moses parted the water for this? Rahab tucked the spies away in her closet for this? Jael drove a tent peg into the head of Sisera for this? Jesus died and rose again, martyrs were sawn in two, and the Church has prevailed for almost two thousand years against the gates of hell so that Christians today can live out this ever important testimony to the waiting, watching world: real Christians don’t dance?” Fischer (1988, p. 15).
After so many petty issues surrounding church and faith that I instinctively knew were not worth the effort — it felt good to find someone who shared the same frustrations.
It was the same problem we saw (and Jesus saw) with the Pharisees. They had created their own system. A system that allowed them to “look good” and very religious without the need to really make clear cut “heart changes”.
As Fischer puts it:
Which is easier to follow: real Christians don’t envy or real Christians don’t dance? Which one gets noticed first: real Christians don’t lust or real Christians don’t smoke? Which is harder to comply with: real Christians love their enemies or real Christians go to church on Sundays?
Looking at it this way, it soon becomes evident that we are creating our own manageable system of weighing and measuring ourselves… (Fischer, 1988 p. 16).
So…. ask yourself. What did all the OT heroes look forward to as they faithfully followed God? What was the purpose of Jesus’ dying on the cross?
So I couldn’t dance?
No, I think there is more at stake……