If you have watched any news in the past month you will have seen articles about creepy clown sightings. I am confident that these stories are being fueled by the media coverage as much as they are being fueled by the recent Halloween holiday, but they have been receiving attention in the media since 2014.
Here in Baraboo we even had an article in the paper saying, “We haven’t had any creepy clowns in Baraboo yet.” Having a vested interest in clowning I have stayed informed in the conversations
and when asked about my opinion I have shared about what a clown is, and point to the things they do as defining them as a clown, not their ability to buy a costume or wear a mask. In Matthew 7, Jesus is teaching a similar idea about those who call themselves Christians, and says you can tell
a lot about a person by their actions… this is my paraphrase. Matthew 7:20-23 says, “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom
of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons
and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Jesus teaches that not everyone who attends church, owns a Bible, or clicks “Christian” on their survey are known by Him, much in the same way that these people who are wearing clown
costumes and trying to creep people out are clowns.
Traci and I are planning on going to Croatia for a mission’s trip this summer, so imagine that we ask a young married couple to come and house sit for us. Before we leave we give them a 12 page notebook of detailed instructions for caring for the house, the garden, and the pets. We tell them when to water the house plants and garden, we write out where to find the pet food and how
much to feed them. I remind them to get the mail. I explain that trash day is early Monday and recycling is every other week. I inform them that the downstairs toilet will clog and clearly state where the plunger and water shut off valve are just in case. And, by all means, the magic room in the attic is off limits. When I give them the notebook the couple commits to doing what
is says. Now I want you to imagine that we come back and all the plants are dead. The garbage is full of trash. The toilet has been overflowing for days, and the basement is flooded. Then I look in the back yard to see our garden plants dug up to make a grave for our dead pets. The couple who had been house sitting for us comes up and explains how helpful the notebook was. In fact they had memorized certain sections of it, and we can see where they even highlighted different areas.
They informed us they went over parts of the notebook every night before going to bed. What are we going to say? We’re going to say, “Away from me you evil do-ers!” They may have spoken words of commitment, but there was no evidence that those words meant anything.
In the book of James, James wants the readers to under-stand biblical belief: James 2:14-16 “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
We can say all the right things to sound like we are se-cure in Christ, but when our actions don’t match our words we are just as foolish as a guy who thought buy-ing a scary mask would make him a clown. May our lives be lives that are filled with words and actions.
Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”